15 July 2009

Naosherwan Anzar, publisher of the Glow International, spoke informally this afternoon in the Original Kitchen at the Center. He told us about his Archival Preservation Project and all the amazing treasures he has collected over the years, including many documents, photographs, garments, and other items associated with Meher Baba (and even some hair of Hazrat Babajan). With a mandate directly from Baba, in 1966 and 1968, to tell others that He is the Avatar, Naosherwan is determined to share these resources and make the materials available for study as soon as possible. To that end he is raising money to move the extensive collection from his home in Princeton, NJ, to a suitable public center. Please see the Beloved Archives web site for details.

Then Naosherwan went on to describe his visit to Iran in the late 1970s with his mother, in quest of Meher Baba's ancestral history. First he described a little of the history of Iran, where original inhabitants were Zoroastrians, followers of the ancient religion of Zoroaster (aka Zarathustra). The Arab invasion of Persia and subsequent Islamization of the country resulted in persecution of Zoroastrians. Among other things, Zoroastrians were forbidden to wear spectacles or jewelry, forced to tie their turbans in a particular way, and compelled to build houses that could be peered into from the outside by strangers. They and other non-Muslims (including Jews and Armenian Christians) had to pay an exorbitant tax (the jizya). Naosherwan told us that an uncle of his wife, Maharoukh, had been an activist in having this burden lifted from the Zoroastrian community (in 1884, according to Wikipedia).

Various waves of immigration from Iran took place as Zoroastrians fled persecution and discrimination. The Parsis who settled in India some thousand years ago were so called because they came from Pars, the capital of the ancient Persian Empire. A later, smaller wave of immigrants from Iran were known as Iranis (and this included Meher Baba’s father, hence Baba’s birth name of Merwan Sheriar Irani).

So this was the background to Naosherwan’s trip to Iran with his mother. He told us a number of interesting stories. They visited Baba’s father Sheriar's hometown, Khooramshar (as it is spelled in Lord Meher), which is a small town outside Yazd--NOT the Khorramshahr that is a port city on the Gulf. They saw the ruined, abandoned home of Baba’s grandfather, Mundegar. Naosherwan said someone told them the story of how Sheriar as a youth had one day simply walked away from his home; the man pointed toward the wilderness, saying it was the direction in which Sheriar had vanished. No one had any idea where he went. We, of course, know that Sheriar, with the name of God (Yezdan) on his lips, had embarked on a spiritual quest and eventually reached Bombay and then Poona, where his son Merwan was to be born in 1894. (The story of Sheriar Mundegar Irani is told in volume 1 of Lord Meher.)

Naosherwan told of meeting an older woman with beautiful thick black hair. Her name was Tehmina Farvarun. She said, "You see my hair?" Naosherwan said yes, he'd noticed that it was very beautiful. Then she told that she was twelve years old when Baba came to Iran in 1929. All her hair had fallen out because of boils on her scalp, and her parents were distraught, because how would she ever be able to get married? So when they heard that a saintly person (Baba) was coming, they sought his help. Baba asked them to bring a bowl of water. He touched the water and instructed them to apply it to her head three times every day. They did this, and her hair grew in luxuriantly, and remained beautiful even into her maturity. The mandali were later stunned by this tale, according to Naosherwan, as they said they had never heard of Baba performing a miracle like this. The woman said that there had been a subsequent miracle when later her husband had meningitis and Baba came to her in a dream and assured her that when she woke up, he would be all right. And when she woke up, her husband was no longer ill.

That’s as much detail as I am able to report of Naosherwan’s fascinating talk. Next Saturday he is giving a talk in the evening, which I look forward to.


Steve S. said...

Kendra, I wish I had your memory! I believe that Naosherwan said he visited the Tower of Silence where Sheriar had worked, and met with a man who knew him there. That man said that one day Sheriar simply walked off the mountain where the Tower was, and left, never to return. Naosherwan said that from the mountain, the view all around was desert. So if I understood correctly, this was a first-hand account.--Steve S.

power battery said...

your blog are great...


Congratulations to Mark on what sounds like a gala and a spectacle and a mighty great show. My daughter told me all about the adventure of getting tickets. Sounds like Baba would have loved it all. What a caste.

Nausica said...

Hola guapa! Es un gustazo pasearse por tu blog y descubrir las apasionantes citas de Baba que nos ofreces. Es como si nos dieras la posibilidad de ver a Baba a través de un agujero o escondidos detrás de una cortina. Un beso.

All quotes of Meher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust unless otherwise indicated. Writings by Kendra are © Kendra Crossen Burroughs unless otherwise noted.