Fluent in half a dozen languages, he was especially fond of Hafez's Persian poetry, but also of Shakespeare and Shelley. He was known for his lightning wit and universal knowledge, embracing both commerce and the arts. He claimed that all major established religions are essentially different beads on the same string, quoting freely from those traditions.
In his youth, Merwan had no mystical inclinations or experiences, but was more interested in sports (especially cricket). At the age of 19, however, while bicycling home from Deccan College in Pune, he met a very old Muslim woman, a spiritual master named Hazrat Babajan, who kissed him on the forehead.
Meher Baba explained that Hazrat Babajan was a "Perfect Master," whose kiss unveiled him spiritually to his state of God-consciousness or God-realization.