IT HAS BEEN SEVEN YEARS since I promised the author, Bhau Kalchuri, that I would publish his voluminous biography of Avatar Meher Baba – MEHER PRABHU. In 1979, I had reached a point in my life when I needed to go beyond and gain experience of who the Ancient One is – before he descended to earth – before he became Meher Baba. This search led me throughout India to the tombs of the five Perfect Masters – the humble abode of Hazrat Babajan beside a street in Poona; the powerful atmosphere of miracles at Shirdi where Sai Baba is entombed; the quietude and mystery of Sakori's temples where Upasni Maharaj's ashes lie; the frenzy and intoxication that surrounds Tajuddin Baba's tomb, and even to the mental asylum for a tour of where he was incarcerated; finally, to the palacial splendor of Narayan Maharaj where I found a heavenly beauty and purity. It now seems significant that I visited the tombs of Meher Baba's five Spiritual Masters before becoming involved in this work, since this first volume describes these five Perfect Masters' lives.

Spiritual experiences are common in the book you are abouuo read. It was in Nagpur that a mysterious incident occurred that has been significant in regard to my involvement in this work. One night, I was awakened by a voice – a voice most soft and sweet. I awakened fresh and young – as if newly born. Goodness filled the air, my body felt light and transparent – creation again, for a few moments, was pristine. The voice whispered, "Come, come there is treasure here. Come." An excited anticipation thrilled me; I was about to enter holy ground. I walked out of the hotel into the street and there was a rickshaw waiting. I said, "Taj. Take me to Taj." The driver nodded and took me to Tajuddin Baba's tomb in a black, moonless night. My previous experiences at Tajuddin's tomb was a mixture of frenzy and power, I felt divine intoxication lay therein, but also the danger of becoming overwhelmed. When I arrived, however, the atmosphere was so peaceful and welcoming that I felt calm. I sat in Tajuddin's tomb alone for some hours. As I gazed at the painted mural of the universe on the ceiling of the tomb I felt that the treasure was here, but I was not ready or it was not the time to receive it.

I returned to Ahmednagar to stay near Meher Baba's tomb. During this period, I became acquainted with Bhau Kalchuri. He allowed me to read his writings about the Avatar. Afterward Bhau asked me what I thought of what I had read. I spontaneously