As with Ram, I also wanted to read about the life of Zarathustra before painting His image. My friend Freny Foreman, the granddaughter of Baba's disciple Baidhul, told me that her paternal grandfather J. S. Taraporewala was a renown Zoroastrian scholar who had, many years earlier, written several books about Zarathustra in Persian, German, and English. She loaned me the two out of print books titled, The Religion of Zaratshustra, a story about His life and teaching, and Divine Songs of Zaratshustra, a large volume of poetry and prose.
This artistic journey began in the winter of 2010, when I read Ramesh Menon's Ramayana.
In 2011 a friend from India gave me an English translation of Tulsidas's Shri Ramacaritamanasa. The book was unlike any I had ever read. I would sometimes read and weep until dawn. I became completely absorbed in the world and time when Lord Ram had walked this earth to rid it of its demons and fill it with His love and light. It had such a profound effect on me, I was inspired to paint Baba as Lord Ram.
When I had finished five paintings I thought, why stop here? Why not do an entire series of paintings depicting Baba as all of the Avatars?
I also read The Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Hanuman, What Buddha Taught, Gautama the Buddha, Lord Buddha, The Nazarene, The Gospel According to St.John, The Life and teachings of Muhammad, and of course over the years, many books by and about Meher Baba. I found reading the three volumes of Mehera Meher, many Baba quotes where He describes Himself in some of His previous advents.
With every book I read felt I must have known and loved Him in His previous Avataric forms and how incredibly fortunate I am that Baba has let me love Him again in this life time.
Thus began my journey, painting and reading ancient texts about the Avatars.
Since I never met Meher Baba physically, I've always drawn from my imagination and His love that prompted and inspired me within, to attempt to capture His likeness. How fortunate we are to have true images of Baba's beautiful form in the hundreds of photographs taken of Him.
I want to thank my family for their love and encouragement. Lynn my twin sister I thank for her generosity, lighting many candles for me and her humor. I thank my son Eruch, who's loving support and computer skills helped make this journey possible along with my daughter Katie for her good advice and artistry creating for me an exceptional business card. Also my daughter Raina for her input, ideas, and her support by helping me hang my show. And I thank my oldest son Merwan for his positive attitude and feedback when it comes to my art. And I can not forget to thank Tom Riley who matted and framed my Avatar paintings with such love and care.
My Avatar series "The Ancient One" is featured at the Meher Baba Center in Myrtle Beach for the month of April 2015.
Jai Meher Baba!