…is the name of the small city that was the home of Meher Baba, to whom the pilgrim center (and most of the town) is dedicated. This is a community of very spiritual people, all of whom have dedicated their lives to loving Meher Baba, who they see as the latest in a line of Avatars (or messiahs), incarnations of god who come to earth in human form to spread love and understanding of our purpose in life.
The people I have met here have been for the most part very welcoming. I have been honest with them that I am not a follower or believer, but that I am touring India with a desire to learn about the history and culture, including the modes of spirituality here. Several of them have been very kind in explaining to me their belief system and how they came to it.
Most of them seem to have had at some point in the past a very strong awakening or religious experience, normally centered around the samadhi of Meher Baba, which is about a 15 min stroll from the pilgrim retreat. I myself have visited twice, but alas fail to experience the same rapture evident in them.
I will stay at the center for another few days and try to learn more about them before moving on. The center is very peaceful and the food good, overall a very good place to rest and reflect on life, whatever one’s beliefs.