O' Parvardigar Studio album EP by Pete Townshend Released 2001 (United Kingdom) Genre rock Label Eel Pie Pete Townshend chronology Jai Baba
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Meher Baba wrote the prayer in Dehradun, India in August 1953 and made it public on September 13, 1953. Near the end of January 1968, almost exactly one year before his death, Meher Baba dictated a circular to his followers to recite the O Parvardigar Prayer and the Prayer of Repentance each day until March 25, 1968. On February 21 of that year he issued a second circular requesting that the prayers be continued until May 21, 1968.
Use and meaning
The prayer has become a part of a canon of prayers regularly repeated by Avatar Meher Baba's followers, along with the Prayer of Repentance and the Beloved God Prayer. The three prayers are repeated morning and evening at Meher Baba's samadhi in Ahmednagar, India at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. each day, followed by devotional songs which compose Baba's arti.
The prayer is a prayer of praise, listing the attributes of God. It specifically uses names of God from various traditions including Sikhism (Parvardigar = "cherisher", also Hindi "preserver"), Hinduism (Prabhu, Parameshwar, Parabrahma), Islam (Allah), Judaism (Elahi), Zoroastrianism (Yezdan, Ahuramazda, Ezad), and Christianity (God the Beloved). The attributes praised are those of omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, and infinite love.
Pete Townshend's Musical Rendition
The prayer became well known after Pete Townshend, lead song writer for the rock band The Who and a follower of Meher Baba, wrote and recorded an interpretation of the prayer. While there are earlier recordings, the song reached a wide audience with the release of Who Came First in 1972. In 2001 Townshend released a solo EP, O Parvardigar, with three versions of the song: his studio version, a live recording made in India at Meher Baba's third Amartithi in January 1972, and a German language version that Townshend recorded specifically for the opening of a European Baba Center. Other Townshend albums that contain the song include I Am (1972) and Jai Baba (2001).
A film by Ginny Katz featuring the prayer and footage of Meher Baba was released in 1976. A restored and extended version, O Parvardigar (Restored & Extended) was released on all-region DVD in 2003 and again in 2009.
Text of the prayer
While there is some uncertainty about the prayer's original form, Meher Baba's main biography Meher Prabu, Lord Meher gives the prayer as follows. See endnotes for meanings and background of terms.
- O Parvardigar! The Preserver and Protector of All,
- You are without beginning and without end.
- Non-dual, beyond comparison,
- and none can measure You.
- You are without color, without expression,
- without form and without attributes.
- You are unlimited and unfathomable;
- beyond imagination and conception;
- eternal and imperishable.
- You are indivisible;
- and none can see you but with eyes divine.
- You always were, You always are,
- and You always will be.
- You are everywhere, You are in everything, and
- You are also beyond everywhere and beyond everything.
- You are in the firmament and in the depths,
- You are manifest and unmanifest;
- on all planes and beyond all planes.
- You are in the three worlds,
- and also beyond the three worlds.
- You are imperceptible and independent.
- You are the Creator, the Lord of Lords,
- the Knower of all minds and hearts.
- You are Omnipotent and Omnipresent.
- You are Knowledge Infinite, Power Infinite and Bliss Infinite.
- You are the Ocean of Knowledge,
- All-knowing, Infinitely-knowing;
- the Knower of the past, the present and the future;
- and You are Knowledge itself.
- You are all-merciful and eternally benevolent.
- You are the Soul of souls, the One with infinite attributes.
- You are the Trinity of Truth, Knowledge and Bliss;
- You are the Source of Truth, the Ocean of Love.
- You are the Ancient One, the Highest of the High.
- You are Prabhu and Parameshwar;
- You are the Beyond God and the Beyond-Beyond God also;
- You are Parabrahma; Paramatma; Allah; Elahi; Yezdan;
- Ahuramazda, God Almighty, and God the Beloved.
- You are named Ezad, the Only One Worthy of Worship.
Several of the names of God in the prayer are explained here.
- Parvardigar (also Parwardigar): The Preserver or Sustainer - Sufism
- You are in the three worlds, and also beyond the three worlds: Refers to the gross, subtle, and mental worlds (akash, pran, mana) of Sufism and Vedanta described in Meher Baba's book God Speaks.
- Prabhu: The Lord (God). Vishnu. Literally: master, lord, king. A name applied to God. - Vedanta.
- Parameshwar: a Hindu concept that literally means the Supreme God. - Vedanta
- Beyond God and the Beyond-Beyond God: Concepts discussed in Meher Baba's book God Speaks
- Parabrahma: Supreme Brahman or Supreme Spirit; That which is beyond Brahman; Paratpar Parabrahma is God in His Beyond Beyond state. The self-sufficient cause of all causes, the essence of everything in the cosmos. Explained in Meher Baba's book God Speaks. - Vedanta
- Paramatma: Supreme Soul or Over-soul - Vedanta
- Allah: The one God - Islam
- Elahi: A word in Aramaic that means My God. Most likely the name of God used by Jesus and his disciples. - Judaism
- Yezdan (also Yazdan): "worthy of worship" - Zoroastrianism
- Ahuramazda: Name of God's attribute of Life and Wisdom. - Zoroastrianism
- God Almighty: From Persian Harvesp-tawan, second of the 101 names of the Lord Ahura Mazda, meaning "Almighty" or "All powerful." - Zoroastrianism. Also from Judaic El Shaddai meaning literally "God Almighty." A very early name of God in Hebrew. The name by which God was known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Also Al-Aziz, meaning "The Almighty," is the eighth of the 99 names of God in Islam.
- Ezad (also Izad, Yazata or Yazad): The one God. Literally: "worthy of worship". The origin of this spelling has so-far not been determined. - Zoroastrianism
- In some versions the names Paramatma and God Almighty are omitted from the second to last stanza.
- O Parvardigar (Restored & Extended)
- Prayer of Repentance
- Seven Names of God Prayer
- Beloved God Prayer
- 101 Names of God
- ^ a b c d Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Bhau Kalchuri, Manifestation, Inc. 1986. p. 4209 
- ^ See J. S. Rathore, "Parvardigar Prayer and the Prayer of Repentance: A Review." As Rathore notes in this essay, the earliest known printed version of the "O Parvardigar" prayer can be found in "Life Circular No. 15, issued on 14-9-1953 [Sept. 14, 1953]," reproduced within The Life Circulars of Avatar Meher Baba: A compilation of the 67 Life Circulars. Meher Vihar English Publications Series: 2 (Hyderabad, India: The Meher Vihar Trust, 1968), pp. 33-34. The text as reproduced in circular 15 does not include "Paramatma" or "God Almighty" at the prayer's end.
- ^ 101 Names of the Lord "[[Ahura Mazda"]
- ^ Exodus 6:3
- ^ 99 Names of Allah
Meher Baba Publications Traditions Organizations Centers and retreats Terms and concepts Major figures Contacted masters Pete Townshend Studio albums Meher Baba tribute albums
(w/ Ronnie Lane et al.)
Live albums Compilations Singles DVDs Related articles
- O Parvardigar! The Preserver and Protector of All,
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