Meher Baba (February 25, 1894 – January 31, 1969), born Merwan Sheriar Irani, was an Indian mystic and spiritual master. He led a normal childhood, showing no particular inclination toward spiritual matters. At the age of 19, a brief contact with the Muslim holy woman Hazrat Babajan began his seven-year process of spiritual transformation. Over the next months, he contacted four additional spiritual figures whom, along with Babajan, he called “the five Perfect Masters.” He spent seven years with Upasni Maharaj, one of the masters, before forming his ministry and publicly teaching. ‘Meher Baba’ is Persian for “Compassionate Father”.
India on as above so below
Meher Baba lived in India, where centuries of Hindu tradition had thrived. Although he did not directly associate himself with any formal tradition, Baba was obviously well versed in Hindu lore and used its wisdom for his own expression.
Hinduism teaches extensively of the cosmoses. Some of its more prominent temples, such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, strive to portray the macro-cosmos in miniature, thereby expressing the principle of as above so below architecturally. According to Hindu mythology, a cosmos was threefold, made of oceans, earth and heavens. Accordingly, the Khmer temples are surrounded by a watery moat, made of a land enclosure all leading to symbolic mountains that reach the heavens.
Pilgrims visiting such temples, who knew their symbolic meaning, would effectively be traveling through a library. Each step of the temple would represent an aspect of the cosmos, which in turn would mirror to them their own selves.