Pune (or Poona as it was called during the British Era) had a unique distinction and privilege which is not yet widely known. This city had  been bestowed with the fortune of welcoming God-man - Avatar of this present age, who chose to take birth on its soil.

If we study the spiritual heritage and spiritual history of Pune and its surrounding area, we can infer how this place was getting ready to receive the advent of Avatar of our time. Although this land was exposed to the onslaught of Allauddin Khilji, followed by many other aggressive attackers such as Nizam and Adil Shah, its people could withstand such invasion without losing their identity and pride. This preservation was primarily attributed to rule of Shivaji Maharaj, who, Baba had explained, was the partial manifestation of the Avatar. The other thing that helped this land and its people to sustain themselves was the spiritual values inculcated by saints like Dnyaneshwara, Tukaram, Namdeo, Eknath and many others.

Hazarat Babajan, the magnificent old lady who was buried alive somewhere in Baluchistan for proclaiming her Godhood, mysteriously re-appeared in Pune and started living there. This was clearly in anticipation of Merwan’s (Baba’s childhood name) birth there. Sheriarji, who was an ardent seeker of God, left Persia and roamed around from one place to the other, becoming a true darvesh had to settle down in Pune to earn his livelihood. This happened after he received an inner awakening that he was not destined to attain God-realization in his life-time but the son that would be born to him, would receive it, and through him, Sheriar. So, much against his temperament, on his sister’s persistence, he married a girl, Shirin, who was younger to him by about 20 years! She was barely 13 and he was 34. The couple lived in Pune in the area called Dastur Meher Road, Pune Camp and Sheriarji got into business.

The couple of Shirin and Sheriar mentioned in the foregoing para had six children. The second child was a boy, named Merwan. He was later known as Meher Baba and lakhs of people throughout the world today regard Him as Avatar of God of the present age. As a child, Meher Baba played marbles, aatya- patya, kabaddi, gilli danda, seven tiles, Kite-flying. But His most favorite game was of cricket. Apart from Cricket, during His high school days, he had also played Hockey and football. He started his primary education in Dastur Girl School, Later he moved to the Camp Government English School and then passed His matriculation from St. Vincent’s High school; a very reputed school run by catholic Christians. Thereafter, he took admission in another reputed educational institute, the famous Deccan College. His first encounter with the perfect master of time Hazarat Babajan took place in Pune camp area. Babajan beckoned him to go near her and kissed on his forehead. This removed the veil over his divinity and Merwan realized who he was. He became conscious of his divine status at that moment. He spent the next nine months thereafter in the state of divine ecstasy at Pune. In the state of this spiritual agony, he used to hit his forehead against stone repeatedly until his forehead and face got covered with blood. The stone and the room in which he used to often do this is still preserved in his family house.

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