2016-2017 Meherana Board of Directors
Therese Williams – President, Co-director of Community Service
Ellen Van Allen – Vice President, Director of Finance
Ralph Brown – Director of Pilgrim Programs
Marianne Ashelman –Co-director of Community
Service, Director of Community Relations
Gay Dunn – Director of Communications
Carole Cunningham – Director of Membership
Jim Wilson – Director of Fundraising
History of Meherana
A group drawn from members of the Southern and Northern California Baba Centers and other Baba groups met during 1992 and 1993 for weekend-long discussions about the development of a center dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba in Mariposa, California. Over a year’s time the group discussed the purposes and requirements for establishing such a center, wrote the corporation’s articles and bylaws. On May 5, 1993 Meherana was incorporated as a non-profit 501(3)(c) corporation and we began our search for land. As a group we developed 6 criteria for land search: 1) at least 40 acres, 2) 2000 ft – 3800 ft elevation, 3) adjoining or near National Forest, 4) at least 20 acres of gentle slope of tillable land, 5) near a paved road with easy access and 6) a good water source. We also decided the center should be a year-round spiritual retreat for those with an interest in Avatar Meher Baba. It was also decided that we would base the center’s purposes on inspirations from the Universal Ashram Scheme that Baba developed in 1939. We would not take the Universal Ashram Scheme literally but feel free to interpret it in our own way. At that time we developed the following to be included as part of Meherana’s Articles of Incorporation:
2. (b) The specific purpose of this corporation is expressed in the following mission statement:
Meherana is a universal center for spiritual renewal dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba and His principles of active love and service to both the Meher Baba community and all humanity. It is intended for the enhancement and strengthening of the spiritual life, without supplanting professed religious convictions or beliefs.
The center is to be made available for Sahavas, meetings, and retreats, both group and individual; and for the development and support of service projects. It is to be organized and implemented according to democratic principles.
In November 1993, 189.4 acres of land was purchased and in July 2003 an additional 101 acres, adjacent to the first parcel, was purchased. Both parcels met the land search criteria.