E Komo Mai. Welcome to Meherdham Hawaii, Avatar Meher Baba's retreat center on the island of Molokai.
During the Great Darshan of 1969, Stan Alapa was given a number of precious relics of Meher Baba by both his men and women mandali and devoted disciples. These included Baba's chair, his sadra (traditional full length garment) sandals, hair and other personal items. From that time, Stan labored to found a Center in Hawaii where people could come to learn about Meher Baba and experience His presence through these treasures and the beauty of the Islands. Whatever Baba may have in mind for the future of the present Meherdham, His Center in Hawaii will always be where His treasures are.
Currently, Meherdham, which means "abode of compassion", offers the opportunity for refreshment of the spirit to followers of Meher Baba and other interested spiritual seekers in an atmosphere of natural beauty and Aloha. The Center is available for retreats, activities and service projects to both individuals and groups attracted to Avatar Meher Baba's principles of love and service. Meher Baba, the embodiment of Aloha, has said that the appreciation of beauty and a love of nature could inspire that awakening.
Meherdham is situated on five acres of Hawaiian homestead land located on the beautiful, unspoiled island of Molokai located just three miles from the Ho'olehua Airport on the mid upland side of the island. Meherdham offers day and overnight visitors an opportunity to celebrate Meher Baba and his creation in one of the most unique spots on earth.
The present Meherdham is the result of the vision and work of Stan Alapa and his helpmeets in life, wife Shirley, and daughters, Ohelo, Luana and Kau'i. A lifelong spiritual seeker, Stan learned of Meher Baba shortly after Baba dropped his body, and attended the Great Darshan in India in 1969 where he was given the above mentioned Baba treasures.
Stan returned to Hawaii with a strong desire that the Hawaiian peoples would come to know of Meher Baba. The treasures he was given formed a major impetus for his desire to establish a lasting center for Meher Baba in Hawaii. Murshida Ivy Duce (appointed by Meher Baba as the first teacher of his Sufism Reoriented) whom Stan had also come to know, emphasized that he must carefully preserve these items, not only for the spiritual growth of local Baba lovers, but for the well-being of the Hawaiian islands.
After searching for a suitable location for nearly 30 years, toward the end of his life, Stan finally settled on his own back yard. In 1998, he dedicated the family's combined homestead lands to the cause of his beloved Meher Baba and began the process of development. In September of 1999, Meherdham was officially named and dedicated by one of Meher Baba's still living close disciples Bhau Kalchuri. Articles about Stan, the treasures and the dedication are featured in the November 2002 edition of Glow International - a journal devoted to Meher Baba.
Meherdham today is still very much a work in process and owes its existence entirely due to the labor and devotion of the Alapa family. Because it is being developed on Hawaiian Homestead land it was not possible to achieve a 501-C3 tax exempt status. Thus Meherdham's future permanency in its present location is in doubt. But perhaps, some day, the land may be available for purchase and then we will see what Baba has in mind!