Meher Baba (February 25, 1894 – January 31, 1969), born Merwan Sheriar Irani, was an Indian mystic and spiritual master. He led a normal childhood, showing no particular inclination toward spiritual matters. At the age of 19, a brief contact with the Muslim holy woman Hazrat Babajan began his seven-year process of spiritual transformation. Over the next months, he contacted four additional spiritual figures whom, along with Babajan, he called “the five Perfect Masters.” He spent seven years with Upasni Maharaj, one of the masters, before publicly teaching. ‘Meher Baba’ is Persian for “Compassionate Father”.

“Though the eye is small, the soul which sees through it is greater and vaster than all the things which it perceives. In fact, it is so great that it includes all objects, however large or numerous, within itself. For it is not so much that you are within the cosmos as that the cosmos is within you.”

India on as above so below

Meher Baba lived in India, where many centuries of Hindu tradition saturate the landscape. Although he did not directly associate himself with any formal tradition, Baba was obviously well versed in Hindu lore and used its wisdom appropriately for his own expression.

Eastern religions contain extensive cosmological teachings. Some prominent temples, such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, strive to portray the macro-cosmos in miniature, thereby expressing the meaning of as above so below in architecture. According to Hindu mythology, a cosmos was threefold, made of oceans, earth and heavens.

Accordingly, the Khmer temples are made of a land enclosure surrounded by a watery moat, and lead to symbolic mountains that reach to the heavens. Pilgrims visiting such temples, who knew their symbolic meaning, would effectively be traveling through a library. Each step of the temple represents an aspect of the cosmos, through which is mirrored to them an aspect of their own selves.