Amartithi is a very special celebration taking place annually from January 29-31 in the town of Meherabad. This rural town in the state of Maharashtra, India hosts around 12,000 overnight visitors and about 30,000 daytime visitors from all over the world during this three-day event in celebration of Meher Baba.
During the three days, music plays on stage all day, food and jewelry vendors set up, and people come together for one purpose: commemorating Meher Baba’s passing/dropping of his physical body.
The climax of this event is when the crowd of thousands gathers around the Samadhi (Meher Baba’s tomb pictured above) and keeps absolute silence for fifteen minutes from noon to 12:15 pm in honor of the physical passing of Meher Baba at 12:15 p.m. on 31 January 1969.
There is something absolutely magical about this many people holding silence together for a whole 15 minutes. It is something to behold.
As mentioned before, people from all over the world come for this event. Mainly people from India, Australia, Europe, and the United States but don’t be surprised if you see people from China, Mexico, and South America.
The spirit of the people is very uplifting and contagious. Everyone is in a good mood enjoying the music, the food, and the company. Even if you don’t speak the same language, you will still enjoy having conversations with them. I did.
You will meet lots of people who are beautiful inside and out.
The nearby stage is set up for the many musicians who come play. Additionally, pandals (decorated tarps) surround the Samadhi for people who prefer to be in the shade.
Lots of stands and vendors set up in the area. You can enjoy fresh sugarcane juice, Indian snacks and sweets, and even buy some jewelry.
Who is Meher Baba?
Meher Baba is a spiritual master who is said to be an Avatar of this age, one of God’s human forms.
He had many messages but His main one was: “I have come not to teach, but to awaken.”
Meher Baba gave numerous teachings on the cause and purpose of life, including teaching reincarnation and that the world is an illusion. He taught that the Universe is illusion, that God is what really exists, and that each soul is really God passing through imagination to realize individually His own divinity. In addition he gave practical advice for the aspirant who wishes to attain Self-realization and thereby escape the wheel of births and deaths. He also taught about the concept of Perfect Masters, the Avatar, and those on the various stages of the spiritual path that he called involution. His teachings are most importantly recorded in his principal books Discourses and God Speaks. (source)
Meher Baba on religion: “I have not come to establish any cult, society, or organization; nor even to establish a new religion. The religion that I shall give teaches the knowledge of the One behind the many. The book that I shall make people read is the book of the heart that holds the key to the mystery of life. I shall bring about a happy blending of the head and the heart.”
Meher Baba kept silent for about 40 years of His life; this is what he wrote about it: “Man’s inability to live God’s words makes the Avatar’s teaching a mockery. Instead of practicing the compassion he taught, man has waged wars in his name. Instead of living the humility, purity, and truth of his words, man has given way to hatred, greed, and violence. Because man has been deaf to the principles and precepts laid down by God in the past, in this present Avataric form, I observe silence.”
How to attend?
You don’t have to be a follower of Meher Baba to attend Amartithi. Your best bet would be to find accommodation at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat in Meherabad. You can find all the details about the place, how to reserve, and how to get there in this post.
Is this something you would like to experience?