Monday, September 15, 2014

Baba's Five Masters and how to find their Centers

Someone who is planning to soon visit India, and wishing to broaden her experience, asked me where the Centers of Baba's five Perfect Masters are. Apparently there is no one place currently where they are all described, so I promised to do a blog post on it. All of this is from research and not from personal experience, so I may have some errors others can correct. Please do correct me if I have anything wrong.

The five Perfect Masters whom Meher Baba contacted in his lifetime, I believe in the correct order of his meeting them, were:
I have only visited the shrine of Babajan in Pune, and that only as a boy with my parents. But many Baba lovers can give anyone interested detailed directions how to get to each of the five Centers of these masters along with their burial shrines/tombs.

I have, however, consolidated here a little about each place and where it is. All five locations are in the state of Maharashtra, and are easily accessible from Meherabad. I give a map of Maharashtra for each city or town to give its approximate relative location.

Hazrat Babajan Dargah

The city of Pune is the home of Babajan's shrine as well as Baba's own birthplace. There are many pilgrimage sites related to Meher Baba there. The shrine of Hazrat Babajan is one of these. It is at the centre of a busy street Babajan Chowk, located near MG Road in Camp Area. It’s a small one-roomed dargah with her grave placed under the neem tree, which emerges through the rooftop. Her dargah is frequented by people of all religions. Babajan is famous in Pune and anyone should be able to point it out. The shrine of Hazrat Babajan is a popular landmark in Pune. The neem tree, where the shrine is constructed, still stands intact as the most prominent memory of Hazrat Babajan.

Babajan's shrine exterior
Inside Babajan's shrine; the neem tree is seen sprayed silver

Shirdi Temple Complex

Shirdi is a small town in Ahmednagar district, famous throughout all India as the place where Sai Baba lived, and where his temple is now. It is accessible by bus or taxi from Ahmednagar, along Manmad State Highway No.10, about 50 miles (83 km) from Ahmednagar. Inside Sai Baba's temple you can expect long lines if it is a holy day.

The map on the right shows where Shirdi is in relation to Ahmednagar.

Shirdi temple complex

Shri Upasni Kanya Kumari Sthan

Kanya Kumari Sthan is the name of the ashram of Upasni Maharaj. It is in Sakori, a small village just 3 miles (5 km) south of Shirdi. As I understand it, you could miss Sakori if you don't know what you are looking for. Taxi drivers should know where Upasni's site is.

Zopdi entrance
The GPS coordinates are very roughly:
19°43′32″N 74°28′41.18″E

Be prepared to see Sakori spelled Sakuri and Upasni's name spelled Upasani, and for him to be known as Upasni Baba Maharaj or Sakori-Upasni Baba, etc.

Upasni's samadhi is also there.

The ashram's official website is: and has plenty of fascinating information. To the right is the Zopdi, which means "hut" in the local Marathi, for it stands where Upasni Maharaj first built his hut in Sakori.

Hazrat Tajuddin Baba Dargah

The temple of the Sufi master Hazrat Tajuddin Baba (aka Tajuddin Muhammad Badruddin) is a popular place of pilgrimage located in the large city of Nagpur, with a population 2.4 million. I do not know the directions beyond the name of the city.

The interior of Tajuddin's temple is extremely ornate, and at night the exterior can be lit up to be very beautiful. I have included some photos, but could not find any other information.

Tajuddin's temple lit up at night
Interior of Hazrat Tajuddin Baba's temple in Nagpur

Narayan Mararaj Kedgaon Bet 

Shri Sadguru Narayan Maharaj lived in Kedgaon, depicted on the map of Maharashtra to the right. Officially his Samadhi (tomb) is today in Bangalore, which is the city in which he died in 1945.

However, according to Lord Meher, Narayan's body was cremated in Bangalore, but half of his ashes were brought to Kedgaon to be buried at his ashram.

As far as visiting Narayan's official Samadhi, Bangalore is a giant metropolis of over ten million people located quite far from Baba's Samadhi in the sate of Karnataka in South India. Fortunately for most Baba lovers who would be much happier visiting his ashram where Baba met him in 1915, it is just 35 miles East of Pune, in a place known as New Bet a few miles south of the village. Also known as Narayan Mararaj Kedagaon Bet or Narayan Maharaj Mandir Bet, it is just off of RajuriRoad (yes I spelled that right) at approximately 18° 23' 43.04" N  74° 21' 50.32" E. Coordinates are only very rough.

Entrance to Kedgaon Bet 
Palace of Narayan Maharaj

Traveling in India

Anyone traveling to India who would like to visit these pilgrimage sites for the first time should check with locals or experienced travelers for better instructions before venturing on their own. The coordinates given are only rough estimations.

It is generally best not to travel alone in India, and bringing along a cell phone, especially with data such as GPS and Google Maps, may prove very helpful.

Just so people know the religious traditions generally associated with these five masters, though they were beyond religions, I list them here. They could be helpful to keep in mind to understand the traditions observed at their ashrams.

Hazrat Babajan: She was a Sufi master from Afghanistan, but her shrine is venerated by all faiths in India.   (video

Sai Baba of Shirdi: Claimed as Hindu by Hindus and Muslim by Muslims, Sai Baba straddled both traditions, but is generally considered to have been a Sufi master. His place of birth is not known.   (video)

Upasni Maharaj: Hindu master.    (video)

Hazrat Tajuddin Baba: Sufi master.    (video)

Narayan Maharaj: Hindu master.    (video) (video)

"You are free to pay homage to and visit the shrines of my five Perfect Masters – Sai Baba, Upasni Maharaj, Hazrat Babajan, Tajuddin Baba and Narayan Maharaj." (Meher Baba, Lord Meher, 1986 edition, p. 5176)

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