Friday, April 19, 2013

Shireen Irani's Birthday

Meher Baba's mother was named Shireen. When was she born?

Shireen Sheriar Irani, 1878 - February 25, 1943
After years of looking in books and asking people, I have come to the conclusion that, as of this moment, no one in the world has any idea of the date of her birth, not even the month.

What is known is that she was born in Bombay in 1878 to Zoroastrian parents recently immigrated from Iran, Dorabji and Golandoon Khuramshahi, who moved with her to Poona when she was a few weeks old.

This is quite an odd state of affairs. Why is her birth date unknown, even to Iranis in India, and Baba's biographers?

I don't know the answer, but will share some thoughts.

Although Shireen was born to Zoroastrian parents, and thus her date of birth may have been recorded by them in the Zoroastrian calendar, and not the Gregorian, there are conversion tables on line that can easily make a translation to the Gregorian calendar. But not even a Zoroastrian date is known. In addition, Shireen was most likely born in a Bombay hospital, while India was still a colony of the British Empire, and thus her Gregorian birth date would have most likely been recorded in that hospital. Unfortunately I don't even know the name of the hospital.

Now what can we make of this for the moment? It is possible that someone reading this post, or someone concerned with this point in the future, will do some research in Bombay records from 1878 and find out. Or it is possible that this is recorded in the Meher Baba archive in India, and no one has come across it yet. In any case, it is still possible that we won't know the date of Shireen's birth for some time, and remotely possible that we never will.

Here is what I make of that second possibility:

Shireen was born in Bombay sometime in 1878, but no one knows when. However, her death date is known with great precision, for it was on her son's birthday, February 25, in 1943. As if this date was not memorable enough, George Harrison was born on the exact same day in England.

Baba said that his parents had merged with him when they died, they are now part of him. Is it thus possible that in the future we will rightly celebrate Shireen's birth and death together with Baba's own Birthday? For in mystical language this was her real death and real birth into Eternal Life.

Here is an interesting conversation between Shireen and her son Meher Baba from Lord Meher, pages 2110-2111:
Shireen: Merwan, now you are worshiped as God on earth. Since I am your mother, I should also be respected . . .
Baba: What you say is perfectly true, mother. You are on the same level with Mary the mother of Jesus, with Yeshoda the mother of Krishna. You must be respected and you too will one day be worshiped, as it was through your womb that God has taken birth.
Yasoda, mother of Krishna
Mary, mother of Jesus

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