Spring Sahavas 2016
Saturday 1st – Monday 3rd October 2016
At this year’s Spring Sahavas we examined the changing relationship between Meher Baba and His Australian lovers, through the personal stories of those who met Meher Baba and through the messages and directives received through the Family Letters. We also examined this period through the eyes and hearts of some of the young ones who, during the 1960s, came to accept Meher Baba as their spiritual Master.
Saturday 3rd – Monday 5th October 2015
(Labor day long weekend)
Our guests for the 2015 Spring Sahavas at Avatar’s Abode were Pratap and Swaroop Ahir
Download » 2015 Spring Sahavas Program [PDF 57KB]
Pratap first heard Meher Baba’s name when he was a 14-year old student staying in a Government run hostel in Pune, India for economically disadvantaged students.
The Hostel-in-Charge, Mr. L. B. Thade, was a follower of Meher Baba who was eager to tell more and more people about Baba. In the hostel students he found a captive audience and a series of Baba-doses were administered to the students by him and this seed germinated in the hearts of some students including Pratap.
At this time Baba had entered the New Life and although the significance of Baba’s New Life was far beyond the reach of these newly inculcated minds one thing was clear to them and that was that they would have to curb their desire of meeting Baba, as Baba had cut all ties with His Old Life.
They did not have long to wait however as Baba decided that on 16th October 1950, at Mahabaleshwar, he would step back into his Old Life for just four hours and he invited some of his old-time disciples and devotees to this meeting. This was the first anniversary of the beginning of Baba’s New Life and Pratap had the good fortune to be amongst the group of disciples and followers who travelled from Pune to spend this precious time with Baba.
Soon after this first meeting another unexpected surprise awaited Pratap. During these times, a group of young performers was becoming popular with the local Pune Baba family. Madhusudan, the lead singer of this group, was composing bhajans dedicated to Baba and Pratap would accompany Madhusudan on the harmonium. The news about this group reached Baba and he decided to invite them to Mahabaleshwar to perform in celebration of Mehera’s birthday in December 1950.
For Pratap this was a very significant visit for during the rehearsal of the program Pratap was introduced to Baba and Baba asked if he would like to come and stay with him. Pratap immediately agreed and just one week later Pratap got the rare opportunity to be alone with Baba for over an hour and this hour proved to be a life-changing one for Pratap.
Since then Pratap had many opportunities to be with Baba, to play marbles and card games with him, and to sing before him at all the sahavas programs that followed, and during the gatherings for Baba’s close ones at Guruprasad during the summer months in the late 50s and 1960s.
When Pratap had to move to Mumbai for his career, he sought Baba’s permission and Baba allowed him on the condition that he should remain connected with the Baba centre at Mumbai. Pratap took this as Baba’s order and rarely missed any weekly meeting day, both at Mumbai and thereafter, at Pune. Pratap is now retired and resides at Pune with his wife Tara who is also from a Baba family. He has four children and three grand-children.
With his son Swaroop who accompanies him on tabla, Pratap has travelled to the U.S. twice, sharing his precious memories of Baba along with his music.
Besides being our guests at this year’s Spring Sahavas, Pratap and Swaroop will also visit the Baba families in Melbourne, Sydney and Christchurch.
AVATAR'S ABODE SPRING SAHAVAS 2014
Saturday 4th – Monday 6th October 2014
Download » The Program here. [PDF 74KB]
Our guest speaker in 2014 was Dr Allan Cohen whose presentations featured perspectives on the psychological and experiential challenges of Meher Baba’s path and the practical implications of the New Humanity, all with a touch of humour, classic stories, the encouragement of controversial questions and lots of interactive discussion.
Allan has had two parallel “careers,” both sparked directly by Meher Baba. As a new Baba-lover in the mid-1960s, Allan was just finishing his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Harvard when Baba asked him, Robert Dreyfuss, Rick Chapman and other young Baba-lovers to let America know that drug use was not an authentic path to spirituality.
On the “surface track,” Allan began a four decade career in drug abuse prevention and intervention. As a researcher-evaluator, clinical psychologist, university professor, media spokesman, administrator, editor, and theoretician, he has applied innovative principles and techniques to the field of prevention.
On the deeper track, Allan learned of Meher Baba in 1964 as a member of an LSD exploration group led by Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (now Baba Ram Dass). He was in direct communication with Baba from 1965 through 1968. Encouraged to spread Baba’s message of love and truth, Allan delivered over 1,000 lectures and media appearances across America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Allan began to compile and edit a book for persons new to Meher Baba, approved by Baba in 1966 and finally published in 1977 as The Mastery of Consciousness. He was able to attend the first Amartithi in India in early February of 1969, the only Westerner in attendance who never met Meher Baba in person. Now living in Washington DC, Allan has continued his work with Baba groups and individuals.
We enjoyed welcoming Allan and learning aspects of successfully serving Baba in day to day living.
Allan also visited the followers of Meher Baba in Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand.
The first Spring Sahavas was held in October 2005 when those Australians who attended the 1958 Sahavas with Meher Baba at Avatar's Abode gathered to recall their memories of that very special time. Since then the Spring Sahavas has become an annual event. A theme relating to Meher Baba’s life and work is chosen each year and we also sometimes invite special guests who have had close contact with Meher Baba.