Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Today's President* cannot be any other than Beloved Baba Himself, but, evidently, you have chosen to print my name because I happened to have come into contact with Meher Baba over thirty-five years ago.
I among several others in Madras first learnt of Meher Baba through Sadhu Christian Leik, whom I always remember with gratitude. He was a Russian by birth and first belonged to the Salvation Army. He was at first a student of Vedanta and was attracted to Swami Vivekananda. Later, he came to India to stay in one of the Ramakrishna Ashrams. He was disappointed in his expectations because the Brahmin monks of the Ashram, though they spoke high Vedanta, treated him in actual practice as an untouchable. He came to see Meher Baba on the suggestion of Mr. Meredith Starr and there-after was drawn to Meher Baba. He was the first missionary disciple of Meher Baba (in those days Baba was called "His Divine Majesty”), and did excellent work in that capacity. He died at Ahmednagar on 29th October, 1929 (then 59 years old) and was buried at the Government Cemetery the next day. At that time Meher Baba was in Persia.
Many of you are "old souls," but with younger bodies in this incarnation. Though we may not recognize Meher Baba, he remembers us and knows us well.
Sri Bhagavan said in Chapter IV, Verse 5 of The Bhagavad Gita: "Arjuna, you and I have passed through many births. I remember them all; you do not remember. "
Today, in the worldly way, we all say this is Meher Baba's 71st birthday. But Bhagavan said again in the Gita: "Though birthless and deathless, and the Lord of all beings, I manifest Myself through My own Yogamaya divine potency—keeping My Nature—Prakriti—under control."
By calling Himself birthless and deathless, the lord means to say that He never takes birth, as ordinary beings do, nor dies; yet He appears to be taking birth and dying like ordinary beings. Even so, though Lord of all created beings, He appears just like an ordinary human being. That is to say people, not knowing the secret of Divine descent, imagine, at the time of His manifestation, that He has taken birth; and when He disappears from their midst, they take Him to have died.
* Delhi Baba Center