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.
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.
Meherana is located on 289 acres in Mariposa County, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, about an hour’s drive from Yosemite National Park. The property features rolling hills, ephemeral creeks fed by hillside runoff and melting mountain snow, and woodlands of oak and pine.
The Caretakers Residence was part of the original land purchase. The two main buildings constructed by Meherana are Baba's Cabin and the Meadow Cottage. More development is now underway to restore Sahavas facilities destroyed in the fire.