11 July 2009

Veiled by Her Simplicity

Ken Coleman wrote this beautiful tribute to a true disciple of Meher Baba:

Perin Irani joined her Beloved Baba Thursday morning at the age of 91. Her various bodily systems had been slowly weakening for many months, and she gently passed away during her sleep around 1:45 AM, Thursday, July 9th, at Baba House in Pune.

I have always found it surprising over the years how little attention Perin Irani attracted. She was hand-picked by Baba to marry his brother Beheram, and had a lifetime of incredible experiences with Baba that go back to the early years. Every facet of her life was directly orchestrated by Baba’s hand. Despite all of this, I often noticed, after speaking with Baba-lovers who had visited Baba House in Pune, that many of them didn't really remember the elderly woman sitting in the main room who possibly gave them Baba's blessing.

For me, one of the highlights of visiting Pune was to see Perin and receive Baba's blessing through her. Although the thought of someone giving Baba's blessing sounds impossible or even arrogant coming from virtually anyone else, receiving it from Perin was something different, something completely pure. There was no Perin when she gave Baba's blessing. She was an empty vessel carrying Baba's love. There were times when I would close my eyes when Perin touched my forehead and I saw Baba in my inner sight touching me.

Those who spent time around Perin knew that half the time she was with them, and half the time she was with Baba in some other world. She had no material interests. She didn't care if she ate gourmet food, had nice clothing or jewelry, or to partake in any worldly activity. She didn't need adoration or attention. She was so simple because her needs were simple. It seems to me that this is why, despite being such a great soul and so close to Baba, that she was not a celebrity in the Baba community. It was her simplicity that veiled her. It is the kind of simplicity that comes from having no personal needs or requirements other than being with Baba.

Over the years she suffered from a number of illnesses but I never felt there was self concern in her suffering. The last time I saw her was in January of this year and although suffering a great deal, her only concern was how I was doing. Her happiness in my happiness was so apparent. Although physically weak, she was emotionally energized about going to Meherabad for Amartithi. This was the one outside “activity” she always looked forward to. No matter how poor her health was, Perin always managed to make the pilgrimage to Meherabad on Amartithi every year. Even at the age of 91, being physically weak and frail, and being the eldest of Baba’s family members, Perin waited for hours with the other pilgrims to take her darshan. As her sons Rustom and Sohrab worked their way in the queue, she sat waiting outside the Samadhi for them to reach the threshold of the Samadhi so she could take her turn. There was no sense of entitlement on her part.

Perin was an inspiration to me and all who knew her and an extraordinary example of true discipleship to her Beloved Baba.

Ken Coleman

Washington, DC

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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.