Saturday, 21 April 2012

Meheru goes to Beloved Baba

Meheru Irani, Beloved Baba's last woman Mandali, passed peacefully into the waiting arms of her Beloved Meher Baba at 4.06 p.m. IST.  She had been in a coma since her stroke at 8.15 a.m. on 19 April 2012.  She was surrounded by her loving caregivers and other close ones.  Though I was not there at the end, I had seen her at 3.45 p.m. and her breathing had changed.  She was not breathing deeply - only her chest lifted, unlike earlier in the day when her abdomen to would rise and fall with each breath - and there was a soft rattle in her throat.  At around 4.08 p.m. we heard the call that she had gone to Baba and rushed over to the main Meherazad bungalow to see her at peace and gently smiling.

Meheru was the youngest of the women Mandali, niece of Mehera Irani.  She was intelligent, full of life and at times sharp.  She had a temper but she also had the ability to forgive and forget.  When she used to come stay at Bindra House in Pune she would help me with my homework.  She and I once memorised "The Ballad of Father Gilligan".  In that poem there is a beautiful line: "He Who has made the night of stars for souls who tire and bleed sent one of His great angels down to help me in my need."  Meheru was indeed one of His great angels, sent to help us who were left after Baba and the rest of the Mandali left us.  She kept alive the intimate atmosphere of His home by holding groups entranced with her stories of her life with Baba, every pilgrim day (health permitting) on the porch.  Her attention to detail (learned by her service to her aunt Mehera) ensured that Meherazad remained His home and welcomed His lovers year after year.  This year, after the pilgrim season ended, she participated in the spring cleaning and got so tired she was ill.  But that didn't stop her, she was back at it as soon as possible.

There are many lovely memories of times with Meheru.  The best of the recent ones was when my son Sheriar came to visit and stayed at Meherazad for 4 days.  He visited her on the porch in the evenings and she would ask him about his life, his new teaching job, what he enjoyed and what he didn't...She remembered the child and now she was getting to know the adult, and both enjoyed the interaction thoroughly.  There are so many times she would drop in to visit with Manu and they would spend sometimes ten minutes or sometimes even an hour just talking and encouraging Manu.  She would always bring some treat - soup or something savoury or sweet - often made by herself.  Manu visited her this morning, really early.  First off she didn't want to go, then she went.  Meheru was in a deep coma.  Manu went up to her and kissed her and said to Meheru, "You go to Baba and then call me.  I will come."  The caregivers who witnessed this said that it was so poignant that they nearly broke down.  

No one expected this.  Meheru was so full of life only a week ago.  I was away in Pune and Mumbai seeing Sheriar off, but everyone says that until she fell down after the stroke she was fine.  I still can't believe she is gone.  Baba knows, she has left a hole the size of a volcano crater in our lives.  There was so much more she needed to see and be present for, I thought.  But Baba's timing is perfect.  He didn't let Meheru suffer too much.  Three days of unconsciousness and a gentle cough and she was gone.  As we prepared her for her final journey, the visit to Meherabad to Baba's Samadhi for the last time, we were actually able to laugh and say how this or that scarf would look, how the patched bed sheet in which she was wrapped was so Meheru (she patched everything) and how the trousers and top she was dressed in were ones she wore on her vacations to Kashid.  She had been bathed that morning so she was beautifully fragrant.  Still, she was wiped, rubbed with scented oil and her hair combed.  Her feet and arms were bound and the sheet wrapped around then fastened at the neck with a beautiful Baba button.  The prayers were recited and Avatar Meher Baba's Jai spoken loudly, with all our love and our missing.  Then the servants in the kitchen and other housemaids who served her came to bow down.  Tears coursed down their faces, they had lost someone who was like a mother to them.  Forgotten were the scoldings, all they recalled was the love and the caring she showed whenever one of them needed it.  Then, laid out on a strong bedspread from Paul Comar's collection she was put on the stretcher and lifted up and taken into Mehera and Mani's room first.  From there we took her to Baba's room, and she exited the house for the final time from His bedroom door, feet first.  Over to Mandali hall, she now lies before Baba's chair.  She looks radiant, her face has relaxed into the most lovely smile, she looks so happy.  Flowers from Meherazad garden were brought and put around her by those of us who were present.  People started coming, from the village and from Ahmednagar and Meherabad.  My sister Dolly was on her way to Meherazad and got the news while she was still in the bus.  She picked up a beautiful garland of spider lilies and roses and this was placed around her face, framing it in a fragrant cloud of white and red.  More flowers were put on her and she looks like she is sleeping, dreaming of her Beloved.  

Manu came into Mandali hall for the first time in a very long while.  She sat on her wheel chair and sang to Meheru.  Satchitanand Parmanand was followed by the Meher Dhun and that was followed by Hari Parmatma Allah Ahurmazd God Yezdan Hu.  Bhauji and Co. arrived and then sang the Adi Sachetan Arti.  Dolly and I stayed until the hall started filling up and then we left, knowing we would see her tomorrow at Meherabad.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 7.45 a.m.  Meheru leaves Meherazad for Meherabad and is taken to Beloved Baba's Samadhi
  • 8.30 a.m to 9.00 a.m. Meheru lies in the Tomb while prayers and arti are said, then down to Old Mandali Hall for people to pay their last respects
  • 9.30 a.m. Meheru is taken from Old Mandali Hall to the platform where her pyre will be ready and waiting.  She will be laid on the pyre and covered up.  As with all the others who have gone before, there will be a chance to say a last goodbye and then the pyre will be lit, reducing our dearest Meheru's gross body to ashes.  Her soul is already happy to have finally joined her Eternal Beloved, Avatar Meher Baba.
Our joy in your reunion with your Beloved is great.  But forgive us our tears, they are selfish ones because we miss you so.  Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai.


  1. Thanks Mehera, as if I were there. Jai Baba from Tucson Arizona, USA

  2. Beautiful, Mehera. Thank you for sharing with us. A loving Jai Baba from Mariposa/Meherana, California

  3. Very beautifully written, Mehera. Thank you so much. I remember her when she was the young one who would play badminton and gilli danda with us in the garden at Meherazad. Much love to you all there. Jai Baba from Judy Ernst, Chapel Hill, NC.

  4. Thanks so much Mehera. Your account makes us feel we are with you all there.
    In Baba's love, Debbie and Peter

  5. Jai Baba Mehera,

    Thank you sharing in such detail the facts and feelings of the day. Meheru's picture above is so beautiful!

    We are happy for Meheru's reunion with Beloved Baba, and at the same time feel the void you all feel so acutely in Meherazad.

    At the Gateway, Andrea Winzimer left an article written by Meheru on Thankfulness (published in the Meherana newsletter) that described Mehera's morning remembrance of Her Beloved and how Meheru had continued daily in that remembrance conveying the power of thankfulness for Baba's ever present gifts. It is a wonderful and inspiring account of life in Meherazad.

    This morning outside the porch entrance to Meher Abode at Meher Spiritual Center, we commemorated Baba's visit 60 years ago. Wendy Conner, before reading an account of Baba's arrival and first visit to His Home, began by remembering Meheru with such sweet gratitude conveying her feeling of the significance of Meheru passing on the memorial date of Baba's 1952 visit when Mehera, Mani Goher and Meheru were here with Baba.

    Love to you all.
    Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai

  6. Thanx 4 giving info as we r old Baba lovers.we r 3 family members add our cheers of Jai Baba 2 dear Mehru in her last journey to Baba.we'l miss her definitely this time when we visit Meherazad .


  7. thank you Mehera for this lovely sharing. A WARM and gentle final embrace to dear Mehru as as she reunites with our Beloved Meher Baba. Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!

  8. Jai Baba, Mehera, your clear, simple, love-filled words enable us half way around Baba's world to join in the life there at Beloved's Abode, and to keep dear Meheru fully alive in our hearts.
    ♥ Max Reif, USA

  9. I didn't know that 21 April 2012 was the 60th anniversary of Beloved Baba's first visit to Meher Spiritual Centre, and of course Meheru was there with Him. I am so happy that Baba gave me the opportunity to be there and share my experience with you all. Yes, I remember the games she played with the pilgrims. One summer Meheru had a badminton net put up in what is now the Meherazad Archive area. There we played badminton. Falu, Flint, Mehera Kleiner, Kacy, Shelley, Davana, Meherwan and I all played, some of us more regularly than others. Flint and Mehera K got cushions made for each of us. Each had a number and a short slogan. Not just the players but also Eruch, Manu, Goher, Arnavaz, Katie, Manu.

    Manu and Katie had "Nutty" and "Gutty" on theirs, I had "Out" on mine, because I shouted 'Out' whether or not the shuttle was outside the lines, and 11 was my number. I will go back and check what Meheru's said and write back. Love and Jai Baba to you all.

  10. As all of the above have expressed so would I like to say again a heartfelt thank you and welldone to my choti Didi Mehera for her account of dear Meheru's last days and reunion with Beloved Baba. Indeed we are sad at her departure while we celebrate her personality and a life lived entirely devoted to her Beloved and we are left with the memories of knowing her all these years. Each of Beloved Babas women mandali were unique characters in their own way. Meheru looks as elegant and beautiful in death as she always did sitting on the porch. This is how I shall always remember her. Jai Baba! From Spain


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