Symbols of the world's religions

               

AVATARIC FEATURES

David Fenster

 
Like Mehera, Mani too felt that Meher Baba's features were similar to those of Jesus. In fact, she wondered whether all Avatars did not look like Baba. Mani speculated that every Avatar had the same general features — certain physical characteristics, she thought, might always be the same. For example, the arch and long length of their eyebrows, their slim legs, aquiline nose, their height — never tall, always of medium height(1).

Mani was struck by how beautiful individual parts of Baba's body were, such as his shoulder or his ear. Even as he got older, his shoulders seemed exceptionally beautiful to her. "Baba's ear was so individualistic, so unique," Mani also noted. "Looking at Baba's ear was like looking at the whole of Baba. During darshan times, though we could only see his ear, it didn't matter; it looked complete in itself. Each part of Baba was so beautiful." The other Avatars, she thought, must have had similarly distinctive features.

Mehera agreed. "Avatars are always beautiful," she said. "They aren't very tall. Baba was five feet eight inches before the accidents(2)." Mehera thought that the Avatar's qualities are also similar — Jesus' compassion, Krishna's playfulness — and this time Meher Baba's sense of humor, his wit, his love of fun and jokes.

Mehera, personally, did not believe that the Avatar looked the same each time. Privately, however, she once confided that she wanted Baba to come again in the same form, because it was this form — his way of looking and acting — that she loved. It was her Meher Baba that she loved. And her fear was, What if I don't recognize him when he comes again?

"Everything about Baba was perfect. His way of talking, his singing, his gestures, his movements, his face. That's why I tell Baba that every Avatar comes, but I want to be with Meher Baba, with our Baba. I love Baba. [She began to cry.] Most of all, his love was beautiful, perfect for each one. Sometimes, I think, we love him — but he loves each one in creation."

Mehera spoke at length about Baba's physical features:

There's something about Baba that was so different from any other person, the expression of every part of his body. Baba's eyes were so different from any other eyes. He had very expressive eyes. If you see in Baba's photos, in every picture there is a different expression in his eyes. But photographs couldn't capture the color of his eyes, their depth; the movement and expression are not there. His eyes moved so quickly, keeping an eye on everything and everyone. He didn't miss anything.

Baba's eyes were so expressive, as if he spoke with his eyes. His expression was so eloquent. With a look he could ask, "What are you saying?" You felt what he was trying to say. His eyes were warm and brown, not too dark (like mine) or light. You could see they were brown; but when the light caught them, they were a golden, warm shade of brown. There was a gold spark in them. They had a beautiful shape. When Baba talked, when he was happy, his eyes would shine. They were lovely. I loved his eyes, because they were so beautiful, the most beautiful eyes in the world.

Baba's eyebrows were very lovely, naturally curving eyebrows. At close quarters, you could see that they reached all the way to the end of his eye. You could see tiny, tiny hairs. Very long, lovely eyebrows.

Baba had very fair, lovely, pink skin. Mani lost her skin pigment, otherwise, Baba was many times fairer than she was. The texture of his skin was something quite different from the ordinary. It was so soft, so tender, so special. Even later, there were no wrinkles on Baba's face. A mole appeared on Baba's right cheek only in the last four years. I always wondered why right in the middle of his cheek? Why not somewhere here [pointing elsewhere on her face]? It was a flat mole, not raised. Baba also had a brownish spot on the middle of his back, the size of a chickpea. Sometimes, you could see it through his sadra. I would see something on Baba's back & think it was a fly, but when I waved it away, I saw it was Baba's mole. Baba also had a spot on his left arm.

The nape of Baba's neck was like that of a three-year-old child. It wasn't like a grown man's at all; it had the softness of a young child. His head was so beautifully shaped, so delicate. When I shampooed it, I felt it was so tender; one felt it was like the head of a small child.

Baba had very beautiful, expressive hands; he made very lovely and graceful gestures. Baba didn't have much hair on his arms or legs, in later years hardly any on his legs.

Baba's hands and legs were slim and shapely. Very slightly sunburned, not brown in color. Baba's legs were always thin, even in the later years, just the same as when I first saw him. After middle age, Baba took after his father. His father was rather broad around the neck, which was on the short side. Baba put on weight. His shoulders grew slightly broader, but his hands and legs were thin throughout his life.

Baba's feet were very beautiful, so shapely, a lovely oval shape. They were not ordinary feet. In my mind's eye, I can still see them. They were so lovely, you would love to stroke them. His toes were not very separate; they were together. His feet spread a bit, as Baba was not wearing shoes for years, but always wore sandals. (One's feet get broad from wearing sandals). Baba had walked so many miles doing mast work — on all sorts of roads, hillsides, mountains, rough places — yet his feet, when we saw them, looked as if he had never walked far. They were smooth and beautiful, no calluses or roughness. Lovely lotus feet. His feet were lovely, but when they were pressed down to take the [plaster] footprint mold, by that time they had spread slightly.


Elizabeth once sent Mani a greeting card, on which was a picture of Buddha, asking if she noticed the resemblance. BACK
Others, such as Irene Billo, have stated that Baba was five foot six inches tall before the accidents. BACK

 

MEHERA-MEHER, A Divine Romance, Vol. 3, pp. 423-424
2003 © David Fenster

               

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