New Life (Meher Baba)
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The New Life was a period of renunciation, pilgrimage, and spiritual adventures undertaken by the Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba on October 16, 1949. Baba selected twenty companions to join him in this self-described life of complete reliance on God, telling his companions, "Life during that period will be lived at the mercy of the world. It will be a life of complete helplessness and hopelessness."
After making provisions for those dependent on him, Meher Baba and his companions otherwise gave up all property and financial responsibilities. They then traveled about India incognito, without money, begging for their food, carrying out Baba's instructions and living in strict accordance with a set of "conditions of the New Life." These included absolute acceptance of the circumstances of their lives, and consistent good cheer in the face of any difficulty. Those companions who failed to comply were sent away. This phase of Meher Baba's life culminated in early 1952 after more than two years.
When pressed by inquisitive people for further explanation during the New Life, Meher Baba instructed his New Life companions to say this much: "Hopelessness means renunciation of all hopes. Aimlessness means renunciation of all aims. Helplessness means renunciation of all help. No master, no disciple, means renunciation of spirituality. And the New Life I have in mind eventually means absolute renunciation. Therefore, if any one asks you what this New Life is, say, 'Absolute and perfect renunciation.' If they ask, 'Renunciation of what?' say, 'Of everything – aims, hopes, help and life itself.'"
About The New Life, Meher Baba wrote: Template:Quote
An account of the New Life is documented in the book Tales From the New Life with Meher Baba (1976). It is also described in detail in The God-Man by Charles Purdom (1964), and within Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher by Bhau Kalchuri (in volume 10 of first English edition, 1996; in volume 5 of the Hyderabad, India edition, 2005). The author Bhau Kalchuri's account has also been expanded into its own 726-page book, Meher Baba's New Life (2008).
Song of the New Life
In October 1949, as the New Life commenced, disciple of Meher Baba and New Life companion Dr. Abdul Ghani Munsiff wrote a "new life song" (or "Song of the New Life") in Hindi, including some edits by Meher Baba (the first verse from Meher Baba directly), which was then translated into English:
Culmination of New Life and Manonash
The New Life travels ended in the semi-desert plains of Northwestern India, during October to December 1951, through a new phase called Manonash (Annihilation of Mind). As indicated by Baba, the Manonash work was carried out for "the abnegation of the personal will in the Divine Volition."
From 15 to 24 October 1951, for ten days, Meher Baba maintained periods of fasting, meditation, and seclusion inside a rock cave on a hill top, surrounded by a dargah of Harzat Baba Fakhruddin, and an old temple of Vishnu, near Khajaguda. On 16 October 1951, Eruch, one of the five companions, carried with him a box of five models containing a temple, a mosque, a church, a pagoda, and an agyari (Parsi fire temple), inscribed with alabaster on a marble stone. The five models represented the major religions of the world: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism. Eruch arranged them on a ledge inside the rock cave.
Meher Baba conveyed that the spiritually significant work of Man-O-Nash was done on behalf of the spiritual welfare of all humanity.
In the afternoon of October 24, 1951, Baba, with the five companions Gustadji, Baidul, Pendu, Eruch and Daulat Singh, left Khajaguda Pahad with their baggage. It took the group about a month to reach Seclusion Hill at the back of Meherazad by foot from Khajaguda hill to Meherazad hill.
The book Glimpses of the God Man Meher Baba, by Bal Natu, cites Baba's message on the annihilation of mind during the Manonash meeting at Hyderabad.
New Life Companions
In October 1949, at the age of 55, Meher Baba embarked with twenty companions, four women and sixteen men mandali. They are listed here with their respective ages at the time. Template:Col-begin Template:Col-break Female companions
- Mehera Irani, 42
- Mani Irani, 31
- Meheru Irani, 22
- Goher Irani, 33
Template:Col-break Male companions
- Adi Sr., 45
- Ali Akbar (Aloba), 33
- Anna 104, 60
- Babadas, mid 40s
- Baidul, 56
- Daulat Singh, 59
- Dr. William Donkin (only Western companion), 37
- Eruch Jessawala, 33
- Dr. Abdul Ghani Munsiff (Ghani), 58
- Gustadji, 59
- Kaka Baria, 58
- Murli Kale, 30
- Nilu, 45
- Pendu, 45
- Sadashiv Patel, 60
- Vishnu, 45
- Kalchuri, Bhau, Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Volume Ten, 1949-1952 (Manifestation, Inc., 1996), p. 3,429.
- Kalchuri, Bhau, Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Volume Ten, 1949-1952 (Manifestation, Inc., 1996), p. 3,445.
- Kalchuri, Bhau, Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Volume Ten, 1949-1952 (Manifestation, Inc., 1996), p. 3,481.
- Jessawala, Eruch, Irani, Mehera, Irani, Mani, Irani, Meheru, Tales From the New Life with Meher Baba (Berkeley, Calif.: The Beguine Library, 1976).
- Purdom, Charles B., The God-Man: The Life, Journeys and Work of Meher Baba with an Interpretation of His Silence and Spiritual Teaching (George Allen & Unwin, 1964).
- Kalchuri, Bhau, Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Volume Ten, 1949-1952 (Manifestation, Inc., 1996), p. 3,429+.
- Kalchuri, Bhau, Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age Meher Baba, Volume Five, 1948-1953 (Hyderabad, India: Meher Mownavani Publications, 2005), p. 2,416+.
- Kalchuri, Bhau. Meher Baba's New Life (Pune, India: Flanagan/Witowski/Ladinsky/Beckett/Craig/Dennison, 2008).
- Kalchuri, Bhau, Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Volume Ten, 1949-1952 (Manifestation, Inc., 1996), p. 3,468.
- "Manonash culmination". ambppct.org (Ahmednagar, India). October 16, 2011. http://ambppct.org/mast7.php.
- "Manonash Meeting at Hyderabad". Glimpses of the God-Man, p. 329 (Ahmednagar, India). October 16, 2011. http://www.ambppct.org/Book_Files/Glimpse_Two_P2.pdf.
- Kalchuri, Bhau, Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Volume Ten, 1949-1952 (Manifestation, Inc., 1996), p. 3,435.
- Murli Kale on trustmeher.com