Merwan S. Irani, named Meher Baba ("The Compassionate One") by His early disciples, was born in 1894 in Poona (now Pune), India. Between the years of 1913 and 1921, the five Perfect Masters (Sadgurus) of the time unveiled to Him His identity and universal mission as the Avatar of the Age (the God-Man, Christ, Rasool, Buddha). After working intensively from 1921 onwards with a group of early close disciples, Meher Baba began to observe silence in 1925, and throughout the more than four decades of His continuous spiritual activity and work, He did not utter a word. From His work in India and the East with the mad, the infirm, the poor and with spiritually advanced souls (including the "God-intoxicated" masts), to His contact with thousands in the West through thirteen trips between the 1930s and the 1950s, Baba has awakened innumerable persons to the quest for the realization of God as one's own Infinite Reality—all in Silence.
Throughout the years Meher Baba indicated that the breaking of His Silence would come in a way and at a time that one could not imagine, and that His "speaking the Word" after great chaos and confusion in the world would be His only miracle in this incarnation as God in human form. "When I break My Silence, the impact will jolt the world out of its spiritual lethargy.... What will happen when I break My Silence is what has never happened before.... The breaking of My Silence will reveal to man the universal Oneness of God, which will bring about the universal brotherhood of man."
Declaring that His work had been completed 100% to His satisfaction and that the results would soon begin to manifest, Meher Baba dropped His body on January 31st, 1969. According to His longstanding instructions, His human form was buried in the Samadhi (Tomb-Shrine) He had had prepared for it in the 1940s, atop Meherabad Hill outside Ahmednagar, India (about two hundred miles northeast of Bombay (Mumbai). Since 1969 pilgrims from around the world visit Meher Baba's Samadhi for the opportunity to bow down and to imbibe the atmosphere of His Love and Presence there. "Following the dropping of My body, I will remain as if physically present for about 100 years, and a little more."
Meher Baba's passing away ushered in yet another phase in His multi-faceted Advent. With the God-Man's physical death, external connections with Him are no longer possible—not for another seven hundred years, as Baba often stated, until the Avatar comes again. External connections, however, are not the purpose of the God-Man's work; they are only the means through which He sets it in motion. He comes on earth as Man to refresh the example of the highest ideals of human life, and to reawaken mankind to the possibility of establishing internal connections with God, the Divine Beloved in every heart.
Through the God-Man, God comes to love, and serve, and suffer, for in His unlimited universality, He alone can give to Creation the internal push required to true its course. In His lifetime on earth He sows the seeds of selfless love where they must inevitably blossom and flourish, and He leaves behind His message and His example: in this age, an unparalleled abundance of information about His life stands as profound, compelling testimony to His Reality. Most important, He leaves behind the promise of His eternal presence within and the possibility of drawing ever closer to Him and ultimately realizing Him by remembering Him with love and following the guidelines He has left for all seekers and lovers of God everywhere.