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'''Meher Baba''' ([[Devanagari]]: मेहेर बाबा), (February 25, tháng 2 năm 1894 – January 31 tháng 1, 1969), borntên khai sinh '''Merwan Sheriar Irani''', was anmột [[India]]nbậc mysticthầy andvề spiritualtâm masterlinh whongười declared[[Ấn publiclyĐộ]] intự 1954xưng thatnăm he1954 was themột [[Avatar]] ofcủa thethời ageđại.
Ông trải qua thời thơ ấu một cách bình thường với không một dấu hiệu nào cho thấy sự thích thú về các vấn đề tâm linh. Tuy nhiên, khi lên 19 tuổi, sau một cuốc tiếp xúc ngắn ngủi với người phụ nữ linh thiêng [[Hazrat Babajan]]
He led a normal childhood and showed no particular inclination toward spiritual matters. At the age of 19, however, a brief contact with the [[Muslim]] holy woman [[Hazrat Babajan]] triggered a seven-year process of spiritual transformation.<ref>Hopkinson, Tom & Dorothy:"Much Silence", Meher Baba Foundation Australia, 1974, p.24</ref><ref>Purdom (1964) p. 20</ref> Over the next months he contacted four additional spiritual figures whom, along with Babajan, he called "[[Perfect_Master_(Meher_Baba)#The_Five_Perfect_Masters|the five Perfect Masters]]". He spent seven years in spiritual training with one of the masters, [[Upasni Maharaj]], before beginning his public work.<ref>Haynes (1989) pp.38–39</ref> The name Meher Baba means ''"Compassionate Father"'' and was given to him by his first followers.<ref>Haynes (1989) p. 40</ref>
theo [[Hồi giáo]], ông đã trải qua một quá trình thay đổi về tâm linh trong 7 năm.<ref>Hopkinson, Tom & Dorothy:"Much Silence", Meher Baba Foundation Australia, 1974, p.24</ref><ref>Purdom (1964) p. 20</ref> Over the next months he contacted four additional spiritual figures whom, along with Babajan, he called "[[Perfect_Master_(Meher_Baba)#The_Five_Perfect_Masters|the five Perfect Masters]]". He spent seven years in spiritual training with one of the masters, [[Upasni Maharaj]], before beginning his public work.<ref>Haynes (1989) pp.38–39</ref> The name Meher Baba means ''"Compassionate Father"'' and was given to him by his first followers.<ref>Haynes (1989) p. 40</ref>
From July 10, 1925 to the end of his life, Meher Baba maintained silence, and communicated by means of an alphabet board or by unique hand gestures.<ref name="purdom52"/><ref name="Haynes 1989 p. 2">Haynes (1989) p. 2</ref><ref>Kalchuri (1986) p.738 "Meher Baba had observed silence three times before, but the silence of July 10th, 1925, was to last until the end. He never uttered another word the rest of his life."</ref><ref>Baba (2007) p. 3</ref> With his ''[[mandali]]'' ('circle' of disciples), he spent long periods in seclusion in which he often [[fasting|fasted]]. He would intersperse these periods with wide-ranging travels, public gatherings, and works of charity, including working with [[Leprosy|lepers]], the [[Poverty|poor]], and the [[Mental disorder|mentally ill]].
After being injured as a passenger in two [[Traffic collision|automobile accident]]s, one in the [[United States]] in 1952 and one in India in 1956, his capacity to walk became seriously limited.<ref name="car-USA"/><ref name="car-India"/> In 1962, he invited his western followers to India for a mass ''[[Darśana|darshan]]'' called ''The East-West Gathering.''<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 5942ff</ref> Concerned by an increasing use of [[Lysergic acid diethylamide|LSD]] and other [[psychedelic drug]]s,<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/cu/CU50.html|last=Brecher|first=Edward M|coauthors=et al.|year=1972|title=How LSD was popularized|publisher=Consumer Reports/Drug Library|accessdate=2008-07-14}}</ref> in 1966 Meher Baba addressed their use and stated that they did not convey real benefits.<ref name="drug-use">Kalchuri (1986) p. 6399ff</ref> Despite deteriorating health, he continued what he called his "Universal Work," which included [[fasting]], [[solitude|seclusion]], and [[meditation]], until his death on January 31, 1969. His ''[[Meher Baba's samadhi|samadhi]]'' (tomb-shrine) in [[Meherabad]], [[India]] has become a place of international [[pilgrimage]].<ref>Haynes (1989) p. 62</ref>
==Early life==
[[File:Meherwan irani.jpg|thumb|Meher Baba at 16 years old in 1910]]
Meher Baba was an [[Irani (India)|Irani]]<ref>In an Indian context, an [[Irani (India)|Irani]] is a member of one of two groups of [[Zoroastrianism|Zoroastrians]] of that subcontinent, the other being the [[Parsi people|Parsis]]. They are called "Iranis" by other Indians because they spoke an [[Iranian languages|Iranian language]]. "Those who left Iran soon after the advent of Islam to escape persecution, reached the shores of Gujarat 1,373 years ago. Their descendants are the Parsis. While the Zoroastrians who migrated to India from Iran relatively recently — 19th century onwards — are called Irani Zoroastrians." (quote from Padmaja Shastri,TNN, ''[http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/572604.cms What sets Zoroastrian Iranis apart]'', The Times of India, March 21, 2004, retrieved 11 July 2008).</ref> born in [[Pune]], [[India]] to a [[Zoroastrianism|Zoroastrian]] family.<ref name="Sutcliffe">Sutcliffe (2002); p. 38.</ref> His given name was Merwan Sheriar Irani. He was the second son of [[Sheriar Mundegar Irani]], a Persian Zoroastrian who had spent years wandering in search of spiritual experience before settling in Pune, and Sheriar's young wife, [[Shireen Sheriar Irani|Shireen]].<ref>"I am called Meher Baba, but that is not my real name. I will tell you my family name but please don't disclose it as I travel under that name and I wish to remain incognito. I am a Persian, born in Poona on February 25, 1894. My father was a spiritually minded man and from boyhood until he was a grown man spent his life wandering in the jungle in search of spiritual experience. At the age of 35 he was told that he should resume a normal existence. This he did. He married and had six children. I am the second son. I was brought up as a Zoroastrian, the religion of my ancestors." http://www.avatarmeherbaba.org/erics/ceylon.html</ref>
===''Các bài diễn văn''===
His schoolmates nicknamed him "Electricity". As a boy he formed ''The Cosmopolitan Club'' dedicated to remaining informed in world affairs and giving money to charity. Money was raised by donations and sometimes by gambling e.g. betting at the horse races.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 186-188</ref> He had an excellent singing voice and was a multi-instrumentalist and poet. Fluent in several languages, he was especially fond of [[Hafez]]'s Persian poetry, but also of [[William Shakespeare|Shakespeare]] and [[Percy Bysshe Shelley|Shelley]].<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 190-192</ref>
In his youth, he had no mystical inclinations or experiences, and was "[u]ntroubled as yet by a sense of his own destiny..."<ref>Hopkinson, Tom & Dorothy:''Much Silence'', Meher Baba Foundation Australia, 1974, p.24</ref> He was more interested in sports, especially [[cricket]], and was co-captain of his High School cricket team. Baba later explained that a veil is always placed on the Avatar until the time is right for him to begin his work.<ref>Haynes (1989) p. 36</ref> At the age of 19, however, during his second year at [[Deccan College (Pune)|Deccan College]] in Pune, he met a very old [[Muslim]] woman, a spiritual master named [[Hazrat Babajan]], who kissed him on the forehead. The event affected him profoundly; he experienced visions and mystical feelings so powerful that he gave up his normal activities.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 198-201</ref> He began to beat his head against a stone to maintain, as he later put it, contact with the physical world. He also contacted other spiritual figures, who (along with Babajan) he later said were the five "[[Perfect Master (Meher Baba)|Perfect Master]]s" of the age: [[Hazrat Tajuddin Baba]] of [[Nagpur]], [[Narayan Maharaj]] of [[Kedgaon]], [[Sai Baba of Shirdi]], and [[Upasni Maharaj]] of [[Sakori]].<ref name="five">Kalchuri (1986) p. 944</ref>
Upasni helped him, he later said, to integrate his mystical experiences with normal consciousness, thus enabling him to function in the world without diminishing his experience of God-realization.<ref>''Listen Humanity,'' ed. D. E. Stevens, 1982. pp. 247–250</ref> In 1921, at the age of 27, after living for seven years with Upasni, Merwan started to attract a following of his own. His early followers gave him the name "Meher Baba," meaning Compassionate Father.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 328-330ff</ref>
In 1922, Meher Baba and his followers established "Manzil-e-Meem" (House of the Master) in [[Mumbai|Bombay]]. There Baba began his practice of demanding strict discipline and obedience from his disciples.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p.380ff</ref> A year later, Baba and his ''[[mandali]]'' ("circle" of disciples) moved to an area a few miles outside [[Ahmednagar]], which he called "[[Meherabad]]" (Meher flourishing).<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 501</ref> This [[ashram]] would become the center for his work. In 1924, Meher Baba created a resident school at Meherabad, which he called the "Prem Ashram" (in several languages "[[prem]]" means "love"). The school was free and open to all [[caste]]s and faiths. The school drew multi-denominational students from around India and Iran.<ref>Abdulla, Ramjoo: "Ramjoo's Diaries, 1922–1929: A Personal Account of Meher Baba's Early Work", ''Sufism Reoriented'', 1979</ref>
From July 10, 1925 until his death in 1969, Meher Baba was silent.<ref name="Haynes 1989 p. 2"/><ref>Kalchuri (1986) p.738</ref> He communicated first by using an alphabet board, and later by unique hand gestures which were interpreted and spoken out by one of his mandali, usually by his disciple [[Eruch Jessawala]].<ref name="purdom52">Purdom (1964) p. 52</ref> Meher Baba said that his silence was not undertaken as a spiritual exercise but solely in connection with his universal work.
<blockquote>Man’s inability to live God’s words makes the Avatar’s teaching a mockery. Instead of practicing the compassion he taught, man has waged wars in his name. Instead of living the humility, purity, and truth of his words, man has given way to hatred, greed, and violence. Because man has been deaf to the principles and precepts laid down by God in the past, in this present Avataric form, I observe silence.<ref>Meher Baba: "Meher Baba's Universal Message", World's Fair Pamphlet, 1964</ref></blockquote>
[[File:Pointingalphabet.jpg|thumb|left|From 1925 until 1954 Meher Baba communicated by pointing to letters on an alphabet board.]]
Meher Baba often spoke of the moment "that he would 'break' his silence by speaking the 'Word' in every heart, thereby giving a spiritual push forward to all living things."<ref>Haynes (1989) p. 66</ref>
<blockquote>When I break My Silence, the impact of My Love will be universal and all life in creation will know, feel and receive of it. It will help every individual to break himself free from his own bondage in his own way. I am the Divine Beloved who loves you more than you can ever love yourself. The breaking of My Silence will help you to help yourself in knowing your real Self.<ref>{{cite book|last=Ullman|first=Robert |coauthors= Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman |title=Mystics, Masters, Saints, and Sages|publisher=RedWheel / Weiser|year=2001|isbn=1573245070}}page 125.</ref></blockquote>
Meher Baba said that the breaking of his silence would be a defining event in the spiritual evolution of the world.
<blockquote>When I speak that Word, I shall lay the foundation for that which is to take place during the next seven hundred years.<ref name="Haynes 1989 p.67">Haynes (1989) p.67</ref></blockquote>
On many occasions Meher Baba promised to break his silence with an audible word<ref>Khauchuri (1989), p. 4586</ref> before he died, often stating a specific time and place when this would occur.<ref>See for example:
</ref> His failure to fulfill these promises disappointed some of his followers, while others regarded these broken promises as a test of their faith.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p.1668</ref> Some followers speculate that "the Word" will yet be "spoken," or that Meher Baba did break his silence but in a spiritual rather than a physical way.<ref name="Haynes 1989 p.67"/>
According to all contemporary accounts, Meher Baba remained silent until his death, but more than thirty years later one close disciple recalled that Meher Baba had spoken to him a few hours before he died,<ref>"Baba actually spoke two words to Bhau [Kalchuri]: 'Yad rakh [remember this]!' and then gestured, 'I am not this body!'...'Although Baba's voice was feeble,' Bhau recalled, 'the sound was audible and clear, and its intensity and impact very, very forceful. It conveyed so great an impression, that my mind itself neither registered nor questioned the fact that Baba was speaking." {{cite book|last= Kalchuri |first=Bhau|title=Lord Meher|publisher=Meher Mownavani Publications|year=2005|edition=Second (India)|volume=Volume 8|pages=4765}}</ref> although this recollection contradicted his own earlier accounts.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 6710</ref>
Each July 10, many of Baba's followers celebrate [[Silence Day]] to honor him.
== 1930s ==
===First contacts with the West===
In the 1930s, Meher Baba began a period of extensive world travel, with several trips to [[Europe]] and the [[United States]]. It was during this period that he established contact with his first close group of Western disciples.<ref name="Kalchuri 1986 pp. 1405ff"/> He traveled on a Persian passport, because he had given up writing as well as speaking, and would not sign the forms required by the British Government of India.<ref>Kalchuri (1986), 1249</ref>
On his first trip to [[England]] in 1931 he traveled on the ''[[SS Rajputana|Rajputana]]'', the same ship that was carrying [[Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi|Mahatma Gandhi]] who was sailing to the second [[Round Table Conferences (India)|Round Table Conference]] in [[London]]. Meher Baba and Gandhi had three meetings onboard including one that lasted for three hours.<ref>Purdom (1964) p. 95.</ref> The British press emphasized these meetings<ref>See articles from the Daily Herald, April 4, 1932 (quoted in Kalchuri (1986), p.1573) and from Sunday Express, April 1932 (quoted in Purdom (1964), p.99)</ref> but an aide to Gandhi said, "You may say emphatically that Gandhi never asked Meher Baba for help or for spiritual or other advice."<ref>Landau, Rom: "God Is My Adventure", ''Faber & Faber'', London, 1936. p. 111.</ref>
[[File:Ancient One.jpg|thumb|Meher Baba in 1925, the year he began his lifelong silence]]
On the journey he was interviewed on behalf of the [[Associated Press]], which quoted him describing his trip as a "new crusade . . . to break down all religious barriers and destroy America's materialism and amalgamate all creeds into a common element of love".<ref name="AP">Mills, James A. (AP), ''Indian Spiritual Leader to Tour the Nation'', Jefferson City Post Tribune, March 25, 1932. p.5</ref> His intention, according to the resulting article, was to convert thousands of Americans from sin. Describing Baba as "The Messiah," the article also claims he listed miracles he had performed, and said that a person who becomes one with the truth can accomplish anything, but that it is a weakness to perform miracles only to show spiritual power. However, another description of the interview states that when Baba was asked about the miracles attributed to him, he replied "The only miracle for the Perfect Man to perform is to make others perfect too. I want to make the Americans realize the infinite state which I myself enjoy."<ref>Kalchuri(1986), p.1541</ref>
Baba was invited to the "Meherashram" retreat in Harmon, [[New York]] by Malcolm and Jean Schloss. The ''[[Time (magazine)|Time]]'' article on the visit states that Schloss referred to him in uppercase as "He, Him, His, Himself" and that Baba was described by his followers variously as the "God Man", "Messiah" or "Perfect Master".<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,753275-2,00.html |title=God on the Hudson |work= |date=1932-05-02|accessdate=2008-06-26|publisher=Time Magazine}}</ref>
On May 20, 1932 Baba arrived in New York and provided the press with a 1,000-word written statement, which was described by devotee [[Quentin Tod]] as his ''Message to America.'' In the statement Baba proclaimed himself "one with the infinite source of everything," and declared his intention to break his silence: "When I speak, my original message will be delivered to the world and it will have to be accepted". When asked about the Indo-British political situation, he had no comment, but his followers explained that he had told Gandhi to abandon politics.<ref>''Indian Mystic in New York'', [[Associated Press]], May 20, 1932, The Lowell Sun</ref>
[[File:Baba paramount.jpg|thumb|left|280px|Meher Baba at Paramount Film Studio, London, April 1932]]
In the West, Meher Baba met with a number of celebrities and artists, including [[Hollywood, Los Angeles, California|Hollywood]] notables [[Gary Cooper]], [[Charles Laughton]], [[Tallulah Bankhead]], [[Boris Karloff]], [[Tom Mix]], [[Maurice Chevalier]], [[Ernst Lubitsch]] and others.<ref>Landau, Rom: "God Is My Adventure", ''Faber & Faber'', London, 1936. p. 108 Available as a [http://books.google.com/books?id=_9DxiBTKdJsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=God+Is+My+Adventure+by+Rom+Landau Google book]</ref> On June 1, 1932 [[Mary Pickford]] and [[Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.]] held a reception for Baba at [[Pickfair]] where he delivered a message to Hollywood.<ref>Purdom (1964) p. 103-105</ref><ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 1654</ref> As a result, Meher Baba emerged as “one of the enthusiasms of the ‘30’s.” <ref>Ellwood 1973 p.281</ref>
In 1934, after announcing that he would break his self-imposed silence in the [[Hollywood Bowl]], Baba suddenly changed his plans and boarded the ''[[RMS Empress of Canada (1922)|Empress of Canada]]'' and sailed to [[Hong Kong]] without explanation. The Associated Press reported that "Baba had decided to postpone the word-fast breaking until next February because 'conditions are not yet ripe'."<ref>Associated Press, July 13, 1932 , as cited Kalchuri (1986), p.1670</ref> He returned to England in 1936,<ref>Kalchuri (1986) pp. 2040ff</ref> but did not return to the United States again until the early 1950s.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) pp. 1661–1668</ref>
In the late 1930s, Meher Baba invited a group of western women to join him in India, where he arranged a series of trips throughout India that became known as the Blue Bus Tours. When they returned home, many newspapers treated their journey as an occasion for scandal.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) pp. 2338–2421</ref> Time Magazine's 1936 review of ''God is my Adventure'' describes the US's fascination with the "long-haired, silky-mustached Parsee named Shri Sadgaru [sic] Meher Baba" four years earlier.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,848514-4,00.html |title=Men, Masters & Messiahs |work=|date=1936-04-20 |accessdate=2008-06-26|publisher=Time Magazine}}</ref>
{{main|Discourses (Meher Baba)}}
Between 1939 and 1954 in India, a five-volume compilation titled ''Discourses of Meher Baba'' received several printings. In 1967 Meher Baba personally supervised the editing and publication of a new three-volume version of the ''Discourses,'' known as the sixth edition.<ref>[http://discoursesbymeherbaba.org/ 1967 Edition of Discourses online]</ref> The widely available seventh edition of the ''Discourses'' first published in 1987 (after Baba's death), contains numerous editorial changes not specifically authorized by Meher Baba.<ref>''Discourses,'' by Meher Baba, Sheriar Press, 1987</ref>
==Siêu 1940shình học==
===Work with 'masts'===
[[File:Wayf 154.jpg|thumb|Meher Baba with mast Shariat Khan in Bangalore]]
{{main|Mast (Sufism)}}
In the 1930s and 1940s, Meher Baba did extensive work with a category of people he termed ''[[Mast (Sufism)|mast]]s'': persons "intoxicated with God."<ref>Donkin (2001) p. v ff</ref> According to Meher Baba these individuals are essentially disabled by their enchanting experience of the higher spiritual [[Plane (esotericism)|planes]]. Although outwardly masts may appear irrational or even insane, Meher Baba said that their spiritual status was actually quite elevated, and that by meeting with them, he helped them to move forward spiritually while enlisting their aid in his spiritual work.<ref name="Donkin 2001"/> One of the best known of these masts, known as Mohammed Mast, lived at Meher Baba's encampment at Meherabad until his death in 2003.<ref>[http://www.trustmeher.com/message/mohd02.htm A Tribute to Mohammed Mast]</ref>
===The New Life===
{{main|New Life (Meher Baba)}}
In 1949 Meher Baba began an enigmatic period which he called "[[New Life (Meher Baba)|The New Life]]". Following a series of questions on their readiness to obey even the most difficult of his requests, Meher Baba selected twenty companions to join him in a life of complete "hopelessness, helplessness and aimlessness".<ref>Kalchuri (1986) pp. 3481</ref>
He made provisions for those dependent on him, then he and his companions otherwise gave up all property and financial responsibilities. They then traveled about India incognito, without money, with no permanent lodging, begging for food, and carrying out Baba's instructions in accordance with a strict set of "conditions of the New Life". These included absolute acceptance of any circumstance, and consistent good cheer in the face of any difficulty. Companions who failed to comply were sent away.<ref>Purdom (1964) pp. 163–176</ref>
About the New Life Meher Baba wrote:
<blockquote>This New Life is endless, and even after my physical death it will be kept alive by those who live the life of complete renunciation of falsehood, lies, hatred, anger, greed and lust; and who, to accomplish all this, do no lustful actions, do no harm to anyone, do no backbiting, do not seek material possessions or power, who accept no homage, neither covet honor nor shun disgrace, and fear no one and nothing; by those who rely wholly and solely on God, and who love God purely for the sake of loving; who believe in the lovers of God and in the reality of Manifestation, and yet do not expect any spiritual or material reward; who do not let go the hand of Truth, and who, without being upset by calamities, bravely and wholeheartedly face all hardships with one hundred percent cheerfulness, and give no importance to caste, creed and religious ceremonies. This New Life will live by itself eternally, even if there is no one to live it.<ref>Purdom (1964) p. 187</ref></blockquote>
After a period of seclusion and fasting Meher Baba ended the New Life in February 1952,<ref>Purdom, (1964), p.194</ref> and once again began a round of public appearances throughout India and the West.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) pp. 3762</ref>
== 1950s ==
[[File:Meher baba car.jpg|thumb|left|350px|Meher Baba leaving a darshan program, February 26, 1954, riding on the roof of a car so that attendees can see.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p.4328</ref>]]
===Automobile accident in the U.S.A.===
In the 1950s Meher Baba established two centers outside of India: [[Meher Spiritual Center]], in [[Myrtle Beach, South Carolina]] and [[Avatar's Abode]], near [[Brisbane]], [[Australia]]. He inaugurated the Meher Spiritual Center in the United States in April, 1952. On May 24, 1952, en route from the Meher Spiritual Center to [[Meher Mount]] in [[Ojai, California]], the car in which Meher Baba was a passenger was struck head-on near [[Prague, Oklahoma]]. He and his companions were thrown from the vehicle and suffered many injuries. Meher Baba's leg was severely broken and he had facial injuries. The injured were treated in [[Duke University Health System|Duke Hospital]] in [[Durham, North Carolina]] after which they returned to Myrtle Beach to recuperate.<ref name="car-USA">Kalchuri (1986) p.3834-3840</ref>.
===Declaration of Avatarhood===
Meher Baba began dictating his major book about the purpose of creation, ''[[God Speaks]]'', in [[Dehradun]], August 1953.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 4208</ref> In it he explained the difference between the [[Avatar]] and the [[Satguru|Sadgurus]].<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 4789</ref> In September 1953, at Dehradun, Meher Baba declared that he was "The Highest of the High."<ref>Meher Baba: "Highest of the High", Pamphlet, September 1954</ref> On February 10, 1954 in Meherastana U.P., India, Meher Baba publicly and explicitly declared his Avatarhood for the first time, spelling out on his alphabet board "Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai."<ref name="Kalchuri 1986 p. 4283"/>
In September of that year, Meher Baba gave a "men-only" [[sahavas]] at Meherabad which later became known as the "Three Incredible Weeks."<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 4451</ref> During this time Baba issued a declaration, "Meher Baba's Call," wherein he affirmed his Avatarhood "irrespective of the doubts and convictions" of others.<ref>Meher Baba: "Meher Baba's Call", Pamphlet, September 12, 1954</ref> At the end of this sahavas Meher Baba gave the completed manuscript of his book ''God Speaks'' to two attending American [[Sufism Reoriented|Sufis]], Lud Dimpfl and Don E. Stevens, for editing and publication in America.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 4551</ref> The book was published by [[Dodd, Mead and Company]] the following year. On September 30, 1954 Meher Baba gave his "Final Declaration" message, in which he spelled out various enigmatic predictions.<ref>[http://www.ambppct.org/meherbaba/the-final-declaration.php AMBT]</ref>
In October 1954, Meher Baba discarded his alphabet board and began using a unique set of hand gestures to communicate.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 4457,4464</ref>
===Automobile accident in India===
On December 2, 1956, outside [[Satara]], India, the car in which Meher Baba was being driven went out of control and a second serious automobile accident occurred. Meher Baba suffered a fractured pelvis and other severe injuries. Dr. Nilu, a close [[mandali]], was killed.<ref name="car-India">Kalchuri (1986) p. 5130</ref> This collision seriously incapacitated Meher Baba. Despite his physicians' predictions to the contrary, after great effort Baba managed to walk again, but from that point was in constant pain and was severely limited in his ability to move. In fact, during his trip to the West in 1958 he often needed to be carried from venue to venue.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 5450</ref> Baba indicated that his automobile accidents and the suffering that attended them were, like his silence, purposeful and brought about by his will.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 5241</ref>
=== Final visits to the West ===
In 1956, during his fifth visit to the US, Baba stayed at New York's [[Trump Park Avenue|Hotel Delmonico]] before traveling to the Meher Center at [[Myrtle Beach, South Carolina]]. In July he traveled to [[Washington, D.C.]] and received friends and disciples at the home of [[Sufism Reoriented|Mrs. James Terry (Ivy) Duce]]<ref>Filis Fredrick, ''THE AWAKENER'', Vol. XX, No. 2, pp. 38–39 {{cite web |url=http://www.avatarmeherbaba.org/erics/heroines7c.html |title=Heroines of the Path, Part 7C |work= |accessdate=2008-06-25}}</ref> wife of the vice-president of the [[Saudi Aramco|Arabian American Oil Co.]]<ref>''Man hasn't spoken in 31 years'', Big Spring Daily Herald, June 30, 1957 ''Note: this article identifies the visit as Meher Baba's 10th US visit, and places the planned date as July 1957, not 1956 as generally accepted.''</ref> He then traveled to [[Meher Mount]] at [[Ojai, California]], before continuing on to Australia. His final visit to the US and Australia was made in 1958.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 5457</ref>
== 1960s ==
===Seclusion and East-West Gathering===
Meher Baba returned to India and began more periods of fasting, meditation, and seclusion. Meher Baba said that although the work was draining and exhausting, it was done on behalf of the spiritual welfare of all humanity.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 5596</ref><ref>Haynes (1989) p. 60</ref>
In 1962, Meher Baba gave one of his last public functions, a series of meetings he called ''The East-West Gathering''. At these meetings, in which his western followers were invited to meet his Indian disciples, Baba gave [[Darśana|darshan]] to many thousands of people, despite the physical strain this caused.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 6000</ref>
===Addressing the drug culture===
[[File:Babawoodstock.jpg|right|thumb|Meher Baba poster in scene from the 1970 film ''[[Woodstock (film)|Woodstock]]''.]]
{{main|God in a Pill?}}
In the mid-1960s Meher Baba became concerned with the increasing drug culture in the West and began a correspondence with several Western academics including [[Timothy Leary]] and [[Ram Dass|Richard Alpert]] in which he strongly discouraged the use of all hallucinogenic drugs for spiritual purposes.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) pp. 6412ff</ref> In 1966 Meher Baba's responses to questions on drugs were published in a pamphlet titled ''[[God in a Pill?]]'' Meher Baba stated that drug use was spiritually damaging and that if enlightenment were possible through drugs then "God is not worthy of being God."<ref>''God in a Pill? Meher Baba on L.S.D. and The High Roads'', Sufism Reoriented, Inc. 1966</ref> Meher Baba instructed some of his young Western disciples to spread this message; in doing so, they increased awareness of Meher Baba's teachings among the young during this period. In an interview with Frederick Chapman, a [[Harvard University|Harvard]] graduate and [[Fulbright Program|Fulbright]] scholar who met Baba during a year of study in India, Baba stated that [[Lysergic acid diethylamide|LSD]] is "harmful physically, mentally and spiritually", and warned that "the continued use of LSD leads to madness or death."<ref name=UPI07271967>''Spiritual Leader Warning on LSD[[UPI]]'', July 27, 1967</ref>
On this basis, an anti-drug campaign was initiated by Baba lovers in the USA, Europe and Australia. Although the campaign was largely unsuccessful,<ref>Bruce Hoffman, 'Something on an Inner Level,' Glow International Feb 1990, p.17</ref> it created a wave of new followers, and some of Baba’s views found their way into academic debate on the merits and dangers of hallucinogens.<ref>Albert Moraczewski, 'Psychadelic Agents and Mysticism,' Psychosomantics Vol. 12:2 (1971), 95–96</ref>
===Final seclusion and death===
{{main|Amartithi|1969 Darshan}}
From the East-West Gathering onward, Meher Baba's health steadily deteriorated. Despite the physical toll it took on his body, Meher Baba continued to undertake long periods in seclusion, fasting and meditating.<ref>Haynes (1989) p. 61</ref>
[[File:Meher Baba wheel chair.jpg|thumbnail|upright|Meher Baba in 1968]]
In late July 1968, Meher Baba completed a particularly taxing period of seclusion and emerged saying that his work was "completed 100% to my satisfaction."<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 6641</ref> By this point he was using a wheelchair. Within a few months his condition worsened and he was bed-ridden. His body was wracked by intense muscular spasms that had no clear origin. Despite the care of several doctors, the spasms grew progressively worse.<ref name="Kalchuri 1986 p. 6713">Kalchuri (1986) p. 6713</ref>
On January 31, 1969, Meher Baba died,<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 6650-6714</ref> conveying by his last gestures, "Do not forget that I am God."<ref name="Kalchuri 1986 p. 6713"/> In time his devotees called this day ''[[Amartithi]]'' (deathless day). Meher Baba's body was laid out for public viewing at his [[Meher Baba's samadhi|samadhi]] (tomb-shrine) at [[Meherabad]]. Covered with roses, and cooled by ice, his body was kept available to the public for one week before its final burial.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 6735</ref>
Before his passing, Meher Baba had made extensive preparations for a public [[Darśana|darshan]] program to be held in Pune, India. His mandali decided to proceed with the arrangements despite the physical absence of the host. Several thousand attended this "[[1969 Darshan|Last Darshan]]", including many hundred people from the US, Europe, and Australia.<ref>Kalchuri (1986) p. 6739</ref><ref>James Ivory, The Talk of the Town, “Jai Baba!,” The New Yorker, June 21, 1969, p. 28</ref>
{{details|God Speaks}}

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