AVATAR MEHER BABA
 

 

" There Is A Heartache Following Me..."

Message from Holger, Gnostic Liberation Front:
 
I discovered Meher Baba, or He discovered me, when I read His obituary
in "Time" Magazine in 1969 and became interested in Him and His work.
I have read everything about Him and also His own works, and our relationship
has been a "Love Affair" ever since. I also went to the "Meher Baba House" in New York's
Greenwich Village and through that met some people from the cast of the movie 
'Godspell,' many of whom were "Baba Lovers." 
I was even invited to visit Jeffrey Mylett in Ridgefield, Ct.
where he just recently had purchased a house.

Although I have, overt  the years lost touch with him and the people
from the "Meher Baba House," I shall 
always remember their kindness and generosity. Then I also heard how Pete Townsend
had written his rock-opera "Tommy" in honor of Meher Baba. This is how he got the 
idea of the "deaf, dumb and blind boy" becoming something of an "avatar" and later
rejected Master. It is in a round-about way the story of Meher Baba translated into
the scene of contemporary "rock-culture" and degenerate western society.
Tommy, after becoming self-realized, draws plenty of "disciples" with his easy-going
demeanor and "simple" message...But these "disciples," after realizing that Tommy's
instructions require intense work, self-sacrifice and complete surrender to God, turn on him
with a vengeance, ready to kill him, because by somewhat "opening" their mind and souls,
they couldn't face themselves and their failures "in the mirror." In order to "go through
the mirror" they would have to abandon all preconceived notions about life, God, and Self
through intense "meditation" and dedication to the goal of finding "enlightenment." This, 
of course, they were neither willing nor capable of doing. Thus they turned on him
and his teachings because he was the one who held the "mirror" up to them symbolically.
Nothing fazed Tommy though, as he was just as happy and self-fulfilled without them...

The late 1960's and early 1970's were a wonderful time with young and not so young
people searching and open for new concepts and ideas. There was a spiritual intensity 
in the air which manifested itself in the early "Jesus People," Guru Mahara Ji the sixteen
year old "Perfect Master," the "Process Church," and so many more. That was also the 
time when "Godspell," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Tommy" and "Jonathan Livingston Seagull"
came out and turned even more people on to the spiritual path. I still feel that these
movies taught people more about true spirituality and Jesus than all the preaching and
teaching in Churches or through theological speculations. People craved "real" spirituality
and direct experiences, be it through the "Holy Spirit" in the Jesus movement, or through
unstructured togetherness in "satsang" and meditation in the eastern groups.
 
All were "alive in the spirit," and made it possible to find a new and much more 
meaningful life. We were "blissed-out" and felt such a love and togetherness that we
thought that the world would really change with us and that this would last forever. 
We thought that we could pass our values and experiences on to our children, but 
despite our influence and openness they became "yuppies" and more materialistic
then any other generation before. And we became gradually more and more disillusioned.

Meher Baba's smiling, loving face resembles to me all that was so good and special
about that time. He was our "Avatar," the "awakener" of our generation, even if some
of us had never heard of Him and followed an entirely different path.
 
Meher Baba was my "awakener" in the spirit, even though I had already read and 
explored many different spiritual disciplines and groups. It was His "awakening" of me,
which brought to life and reality that which I had read in the letters as dead words.
Perhaps I can not even make anybody else understand what I really mean, but it was
He, in some miraculous way, who "opened my third eye" and gave me a new vision
and living experience of all the spiritual and even political "material" I had read and ever
would read. This is not to say that all my interpretations of things are right and that
it comes all from "Baba," it would be ludicrous to make such a claim. We all must travel
our own road and experience different things in accordance with our "background" and
conditioning. Previous lives and retributions dedicated by "karma" are also part and 
parcel of our baggage. But it is "Baba" who travels with us, if we allow Him to, and who
makes it all bearable and meaningful. 

Does this sound "unreasonable" or even crazy?
Aren't all lover's crazy?
And I Love Meher Baba, I am a "Baba Lover," and I crave my beloved...
and that is why I say with a quote from one of his favorite Jim Reeves' songs:

   
   
"There is a heartache following me...."

 

 

       

 
Pure Love is matchless in Majesty;
It has no parallel in power and there is no Darkness it cannot dispel.

"The New Humanity will come into existence through a release of love in measureless abundance and this release of love can come through spiritual awakening brought about by the masters.

Humanity will attain a new mode of life through the free and unhampered interplay of pure love from heart to heart. The coming civilization of the New Humanity shall be ensouled not by dry intellectual doctrines but by living spiritual experience.

The New Humanity will be freed from a life of limitations, allowing unhampered scope for the creative life of the spirit; and it will break the attachment to external forms and learn to subordinate them to the claims of the spirit.

When it is recognized that there are no claims greater than the claims of the universal divine life which, without exception, includes everyone and everything, love will not only establish peace, harmony and happiness in social, national and international spheres, but it will shine in its own purity and beauty.

Divine love is unassailable to the onslaughts of duality and it is an expression of divinity itself. It is through divine love that the New Humanity will tune in with the divine plan. Divine love will not only introduce imperishable sweetness and infinite bliss into personal life; but it will also make possible an era of New Humanity .

Through divine love the New Humanity will learn the art of cooperative and harmonious life; it will free itself from the tyranny of dead forms and release the creative life of spiritual wisdom; it will shed all illusions and get established in truth; it will enjoy peace and abiding happiness; it will be initiated in the life of Eternity."

 

       



Avatar Meher Baba

 Merwan Sheriar Irani was born of Zoroastrian parents on February 25, 1894 in Pune, India. One day in 1913, while on his way to college, Merwan was beckoned by a very old woman sitting under a neem tree. This was Hazrat Babajan, one of the Five Perfect Masters of that time. After this first meeting, Merwan used to sit with her regularly and some time in January 1914, she blessed him with the experience of the infinitude of God-realization. Another Perfect Master, Upasni Maharaj, in 1921 established Merwan in His role and status as the Avatar of the Age.

Merwan, now endearingly called Meher Baba by His followers, began a life of intense activity. As part of His Avataric work, on July 10, 1925, He began observing silence. A few days earlier one of His disciples asked, "But if you keep silent, how will you teach us?" and Meher Baba answered, " I have come not to teach, but to awaken."

In spite of His silence, Meher Baba continued to serve the needs of humanity on a material as well as a spiritual level. He established schools, hospitals and personally cared for lepers, the mad, and the masts - whose minds have become overpowered by their love for God.

Meher Baba traveled extensively throughout India and Pakistan; made thirteen trips to the West, and gave His personal touch to the hundreds of thousands who flocked to Him during public darshan (meeting) programs.

Although Meher Baba observed silence, through the medium of an alphabet board (which He discarded in 1954) and through gestures, He dictated several books and many messages concerning each one's journey to God, God's Advent as Man, and His eternal relationship with humanity.

Meher Baba's silence was still unbroken when He laid aside His physical body at Meherabad (in Ahemadnagar, India) on January 31, 1969. He is now speaking in the hearts of those who are responsive to His inner call. Everyday, hundreds of stories, relating to Meher Baba's inner contact with His lovers, are being told by men and women coming as pilgrims to Meherabad from all parts of the world. Meher Baba had said: (in Ahemadnagar, India) on January 31, 1969. He is now speaking in the hearts of those who are responsive to His inner call. Everyday, hundreds of stories, relating to Meher Baba's inner contact with His lovers, are being told by men and women coming as pilgrims to Meherabad from all parts of the world. Meher Baba had said:

"Avataric periods are like the spring-tide of creation. They bring a new release of power, a new awakening of consciousness, a new experience of life - not merely for a few, but for all. Qualities of energy and awareness, which had been used and enjoyed by only a few advanced souls, are made available for all humanity. Life, as a whole is stepped up to a higher level of consciousness, is geared to a new rate of energy. The transition from sensation to reason was one such step; the transition from reason to intuition will be another."

Meher Baba's body, which is entombed on Meherabad Hill, remains a focal point for those who love and follow Him. It is always possible here to feel the presence of the Avatar on a personal level and establish or reconfirm an intimate relationship with Him, which will clarify the guidance He eternally gives as the inner voice of one's heart. Meher Baba's Samadhi or the tomb-shrine is at Meherabad, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra State, India.

 

 

The Five Perfect Masters and The Avatar

About the periodic descent of the Supreme Divine Being - the Ancient one and the Highest of the High , - Meher Baba disclosed:
"In each cycle of time, which ranges from 700 to 1400 years, there are eleven ages of 65 to 125 years each. From the beginning to the end of each cycle, there are altogether 55 Perfect Masters and that means each age has only five (5) Perfect Masters. In the last, the eleventh age of each cycle, the Avatar (Saheb-e-Zaman) is also present."

The five Perfect Masters through a mystic process of Veiling and Unveiling always materialize the descent of the Ancient One as the Avatar of the Age and the future cycle.

Hazrat Babajan of Poona, Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon, Tajuddin Baba of Nagpur, Sai Baba of Shirdi and Upasani Maharaj of Sakori were the five Perfect Masters who had materialized the descent of the Ancient One as Avatar Meher Baba. Meher Baba's spiritual status as the Avatar or the Christ or the Buddha was proclaimed and hailed by these five Perfect Masters. About this Jean Adriel writes in her book - Avatar, The Life Story of Meher Baba: " At rare intervals - in times of acute world crisis - mankind passes through Avataric cycles. Such was the time of Jesus, of Buddha, and many believe that humanity has entered another.

In Avataric periods, the Supreme Master of the Council becomes known to the world as the Saviour or Avatar… except for this highest function, the ranks of Perfect Mastership are open to women as well as men. The Avatar incarnates always in a male body. He is the `Ancient One' who was the first human to become fully conscious of his Godhood.."
For more information on the Five perfect masters see
www.trustmeher.com

 


Meherabad

          
The place that the Avatar chose to live

Meherabad Ashram, a small township of Meher Baba's close disciples and resident Baba lovers, came into existence in the year 1923. Meherabad is located at Arangaon , about 10 kilometers from Ahmednagar town in the state of Maharashtra in India . It is said that at this place , a Hindu saint, Buaji Bua, buried himself alive. When Meher Baba choose this site to live , he named it Meherabad .

Meherabad witnessed some of the most important activities in the life and times of Meher Baba. It was at Meherabad, Meher Baba commenced His Mystic Silence on the 10th of July 1925. Meher Baba's Silence remained unbroken for 44 years right until he dropped His physical body on 31st of January 1969. From 13th of July 1925, Meher Baba commenced writing a book in a cottage, which he called the Jhopdi (Hindi word for cottage). It took him almost two years to write this book and it is the only book written by him. After completion, Baba did not allow this book to be published and instead, kept it in safekeeping with different people. The book manuscript changed many hands on Baba's instructions before it disappeared and is untracable till today . However before dropping his body in 1969 , Meher Baba assured his disciples that the book was in safe hands and would be published at the right time . About the book , Baba said, "The Big Book I have written will be the future Bible, Quran, Avesta and Veda, as it will be universally accepted by all castes and creeds."

It was at Meherabad that Meher Baba started two schools - Meher Ashram and Prem Ashram. These schools became important instruments of Baba's Universal Work as the Avatar of the Age and were later disbanded on Baba's instructions. Meherabad assumed greater global importance on 7th of February 1969, the day when the mortal remains of Avatar Meher Baba were buried in his Tomb-Shrine. About Meherabad, Meher Baba had disclosed: " In the future Meherabad will be like Jerusalem. For my spiritual work, it is the best place. It will always be the center of My work."

Meherabad is now regarded by millions of Meher Baba lovers as the most sacred place on earth, where in His Samadhi or the Tomb-Shrine, a direct inner living contact with the Avatar is always possible. Everyday hundreds of Meher lovers coming from all parts of the world, visit Meherabad and carry back with them great experiences of inner awakening in Love, Truth and Universal brotherhood.

 

                
 

      
 
Meher Baba's Samadhi: 

This Spiritual Power House of the New Humanity has an amazing history. In April of 1927 Baba, who was 33 at that time was strolling on the Meherabad Hill. He paused and designated a spot where he wanted a large pit to be dug. This was to be his Samadhi or Tomb-Shrine. The construction of the crypt was completed by mid-August 1927. After that, Baba would visit the crypt quite often and would on certain occasions, retire in it.

On December 20th 1927, he entered the crypt for an unbroken stay that lasted until February 26, 1928. Later Baba had expressed the wish that a dome be constructed above it. This dome was built on a circular platform. At the corners of the roof squaring the dome, were placed models of a temple, a mosque, a cross, and a sacred fire urn - the symbols of four of the worlds great religions: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Zorastrianism. Above the door a stone plaque with the words "Mastery in Servitude" was mounted on Baba's instructions.

In 1938 Helen Dahm, a famous Swiss artist and a devotee-lover of Baba, painted murals on the uneven stone surface of the inner walls and the interior of the dome. In 1954, Baba led a large group of his lovers up the Hill to his future tomb-shrine and instructed them to bow down at the threshold. In 1955 Sahwas he allowed his lovers to come inside the samadhi and circumambulate. The north window of the tomb shrine holds a breathtakingly beautiful painting of Meher Baba done by Charlie Morton, an artist from America.

Baba dropped his body on 31st January 1969 and his body was finally interred in the tomb.

The Samadhi is open every day from six in the morning to eight at night. In the morning and evening, prayers given by Baba are recited and those who gather over there sing songs glorifying His divine love. A visit to Samadhi is the beginning of the hearts journey through the manifold phases of life continuously sustained by the Avatar's grace and love.

 

 

          
 

 

           
Meher Baba's Visit to Wall Street in 1931

 

Meher Baba visited New York in 1931. I have compiled a brief account of this visit which has been published in Lord Meher, Volume 4. All excerpts in quotes in the following account are from Lord Meher, Volume 4.
Chinmaya Rathore
        
Mr. Watson Invites Baba to America

 

The invitation to Visit America was given to Baba by an elderly man named Thomas Augustus Watson who with his wife, met Baba on September the 13th , 1931 at Combe Martin in England . Baba was on a tour to England and I pick up the thread from the point when Baba reached Combe Martin after a ten-hour car ride from London.

"After a ten-hour ride Baba reached Combe Martin at Five o'clock. Among the persons gathered to receive Meher Baba was an elderly man named Thomas Augustus Watson, who had come with his wife from America to stay at the retreat (Devonshire Retreat) two days. Mr. Watson was a scientist who had worked with Alexander Graham Bell in inventing the telephone, and since retired, was searching for spiritual knowledge. Upon entering the retreat and climbing the staircase to his room, Baba stopped for a moment and gently placed his hand on Watson's head. Baba's divine touch had such a deep effect on him that the old man wept like a child. From Baba's gentle touch, his heart burst and overflowed with love.

Having observed similar incidents while on tour with Baba, Chanji took Mr. Watson into the library and made him sit down. Watson continued to weep for about fifteen minutes and then became quiet. His eyes filled with tears and he asked softly, 'How long have you been with Him?'

'For seven years' replied Chanji.

Hearing this, Watson placed his hand in a fatherly way on Chanji's back and said, 'My son, do you realize how fortunate you are to have been living in such close contact with such a great personality ? '

'Yes Sir I do consider myself fortunate,' Chanji answered. 'It is his grace that I am near him'

After a few moments of silence, Watson revealed 'in my seventy-eight years of life, today is the first time I have experienced what divine love is. I have come to realize this with just a touch from Meher Baba.'

Chanji said ' Such a privilege is bestowed on very few.' Without Watson's asking, Baba had rocked the grounds of his being. Watson's heart blossomed and he saw new light - the light which dispels the darkness of ages.

It was wonderful how the Master's work was manifesting. He was forging a link with Watson for a plan, which, up to now, he had not revealed. Baba was planning on going to America from England and Watson was to be his medium for setting it up. This is why Watson felt compelled to travel all the way to England just to meet Meher Baba."

The next day Watson met Baba again and Baba explained to Watson about different stages of the development of the mind and described how the mind experiences the universe. Baba said :

"When our sight turns within then the search for God begins. To attain Godhood, two things are required: First, pure conduct, and second, ideal service rendered selflessly.'

Watson asked, 'What can I do? I am too old and feeble to render much service; but I can help in other way you suggest.'

Baba gestured, 'Don't worry I will instruct you.'

On September 15 , Thomas Watson said to Baba, "America is the country for a great spiritual worker like you. You must go there If you permit me, I shall make all the necessary arrangements for you and your group to visit us in New York. On behalf of the American people, I extend my heartiest invitation to you to come to the United States.'

Baba expressed his pleasure at Watson's love, but declined the invitation. Watson felt sad about it and tried to persuade Baba to change his mind. Finally at his constant plea, Baba agreed to go to America.

After Baba accepted his invitation, Watson and His wife prepared to leave for the United Sates to see to all the arrangements for the Master's visit.

            

Baba arrives in New York to a strange Welcome

 

Time passed in between . Baba continued his tour of Europe finally reaching America on 6th November 1931 to a most bizarre welcome. Following is the account of Baba's arrival in New York:

"On Friday, November 6th, 1931, passing the Statue of Liberty, the S.S. Roma sailed into New York city harbor at two in the afternoon. However this time, Meher Baba's welcome was not exactly warm or inviting. Two hours passed before Baba and the group were allowed to disembark. An insolent immigration officer kicked up a row on board ship, unnecessarily delaying their disembarkation. He was dissatisfied with the answers given by Meredith Starr to his questions and suspected something suspicious about Baba's silence and alphabet board. He kept detaining Baba and the group with questions and even tried to read the board himself, but could not. He asked Baba directly, 'You have come to teach people in America? But you do not speak. How can you teach with this board? How foolish! Who gave you this silly idea?

Baba spelled out in reply, 'I have come not to teach, but to awaken.' In reply, the man laughed loudly, mocking Baba. Baba's eyes flashed, gesturing to the group 'fool that he is, he laughs at this now, but I will show him. Poor, ignorant soul. I pity him !'

The Officer then warned them, ' I cannot let you pass unless someone in New York stands surety for you'. However this trip to America was not widely publicized and not many knew about Baba's coming. Except for three persons waiting for Baba at the dock, and they were prevented from boarding the ship, there was no one present to intervene on Baba's behalf.. It was quite an awkward situation, but it was the Master's game. Baba remained serene and calm as he meekly submitted to the interrogation by the insulting immigration agent.

Suddenly an officer of the ship dressed in white appeared on the scene, and asked the immigration agent, 'Why do you detain these men when all the other passengers have left the ship?' He explained that he was not satisfied with their travel documents and wanted surety. The Ship's officer looked through the papers and asked, 'What is wrong with them? Let them go.'

'But there is no one here to stand guarantee for them,' the agent protested.

Chanji explained that they had very good references, and the officer said to the agent, 'Quite frankly, I do not see any sense in your behaviour. They even have references to show. If you still need a guarantor, I will stand guarantee. I am coming back shortly and want you to prepare permits for them to land'.

This reprimand upset the immigration agent; however, he issued the landing cards. When Chanji went to thank the Ship's officer, he could not find him. No one knew who he really was.

             

Baba Drives around Wall Street

 

Baba after his arrival, drove to a small town Croton-Harmon along with his group. Baba stayed there and met many people and gave discourses. Many interesting events happened during this stay. During this stay, Baba had predicted that another world war would breakout : 'The war is a necessary prelude to my manifestation and the subsequent birth of a new and better world'. Baba met many famous people during this period who became his life long lovers. He also traveled to Boston and then returned back to Harmon and after staying there for five days, drove to New York on December 4th to the Stokes residence in Greenwich village.

Before leaving New York on December 5th 1931, Baba wished to be driven around Wall street. New York's financial district. It was a Saturday and the streets were virtually deserted. In the car, Jean Adriel was thinking to herself : 'How ephemeral and unreal is this money madness!'

The next moment, pointing to the skyscrapers, Baba smiled at her and gestured

"It's all a bubble, so easy to prick" . The year was 1931.

Eventually after a short period, Baba's tour to the west concluded and Baba returned to India. I was keen to know more about Mr. Watson's association with Baba after Baba's return to India but could not find any references in Lord Meher on this.


If you want to know more about Meher Baba's  most charismatic life , his teachings of love and compassion and universal brotherhood , and books on his life and teachings, you can visit the following sites:
 
Sheriar Foundation

Sheriar Books  Publisher Of Meher Baba Related Books In The USA

Meher Baba Bhopal , India Site

www.avatarmeherbaba.org 

Other Meher Baba Links around the world

What Baba said about the emergence of a New Humanity in the World

 

        

 

 

     
Meher Baba's Discourses

          
 

  
Reincarnation

        
The operation of Karma through successive lives

In successive incarnations there is not only a thread of continuity and identity (as manifested in the personal memory revived in advanced souls), but there is uninterrupted reign of the law of cause and effect, through the persistence and operation of Karma. The successive, incarnations, with all their particulars, are closely and unfailingly determined by a rational law, so that it becomes possible for the individual soul to mould its future through intelligent action. The actions of past lives determine the conditions and circumstances of the present life; and the actions of the present life have their share in determining the conditions and circumstances of future lives. the successive incarnations yield their full significance, only in the light of the operation of the law of Karma.

        
  Persistence of Karma through the mental body

Incarnations in the physical world are only apparently disconnected. Karma persists as a connecting link and the determining factor through the mental body, which remains a permanent and constant factor through the lives of the soul. The law of Karma and its manner of operation cannot be fully intelligible as long as the physical body and the physical world are considered to be the only facts of existence. Karmic determination is made possible by the existence of subtle and mental bodies and worlds.

The planes on which one possesses physical consciousness is the physical world. The planes on which one possesses consciousness of desires are the subtle world. And the planes on which one has mental consciousness are the mental world. The source of desire is in the mind, which is on the mental planes. Here, the seed of desire is attached to the mind; the desire exists here in an involved form in the same way as the tree is latent in the seed. The mental body, which is the seat of the mind, is often called Karana Sharira or the causal body because it stores within itself the seeds of the causes of all desires. The mind retains all impressions dispositions in a latent form. The limited "I" or the ego is composed of these sanskaras. However, the actual manifestation of sanskaras in consciousness, as expressed through different mental processes, takes place in the subtle body.

The self which is one and undifferentiated, gets apparently individualized through the limitations of the mental body, which is the seat of the ego-mind. The ego-mind is formed by the accumulated impressions of the past experiences and actions; and it is the ego-mind that constitutes the kernel of the existence of the reincarnating individual. The ego-mind as a reservoir of latent impressions in the state of the mental body; the ego-mind experiencing activated and manifested impressions is the state of the subtle body; and the ego-mind as descended in the gross sphere for creative action in the state of a physical incarnation. Thus, the ego-mind, which is seated in the mental body, is the entity that has all the phases of continued existence as a separate individual.

The ego-mind takes lower bodies according to the impressions stored in it. These impressions determine whether a person will die young or old, whether he will experience health, illness or both, whether he will be beautiful or ugly, whether he will suffer from physical handicaps such as blindness, or will have bodily efficiency, whether he will have sharp or dull intellect, whether he will be pure or impure of heart, fickle or steadfast in will, and whether he will be immersed in pursuit material gains or will seek inner light of the spirit.

excerpted from GOD To MAN and MAN TO GOD , the discourses of MEHER BABA edited by C.B. Purdom,
Victor Gollancz Ltd, London 1955

 

     
God and the Individual

There is on being, the Universal Being. The existence of the finite is apparent or imaginary. You are infinite. You are everywhere. But you think you are the body, and consider yourself limited. If you think you are the body, you do not know your true nature. If you would look within and experience your own self in its true nature, you would realize that you were infinite and beyond all creation. But you identify yourself with the body, due to ignorance made effective through the medium of mind. Man thinks himself to be the physical body; when spiritually advanced he thinks himself to be the psychic body; the saint thinks he is the mind; but in these thoughts, man does not experience self-knowledge. As spirit, man is infinite, but under the sway of the mind he becomes a "thinker" or a "saint", sometimes identifying himself with the body, sometimes with the mind. From the point of view of one of who has not gone beyond Maya, it seems that there are as many individuals as there are minds and bodies. In Truth there is one Universal Being behind the minds of seemingly different individuals, who through them has the experiences of duality.

The cause of false thinking

Thinking becomes false owing to the interference of the sanskaras accumulated during the process of the evolution of consciousness, which manifest themselves as desires. Through many lives consciousness is burdened by the after-effects of experience, and the perception of the soul is limited. The soul cannot break through the hedge created by sanskaras, and consciousness becomes a helpless captive of illusions projected by its own false thinking. And this falsification of thought is present not only where consciousness is partly developed, buts also in men who consider themselves to be fully developed.

The progressive evolution of consciousness beginning with the stone culminates in man. The history of evolution is the history of a gradual development of consciousness, and the fruit of evolution is full consciousness, which is the particular characteristic of man. But even full consciousness is like a mirror covered by dust, for owing to the operation of sanskaras it does not yield clear and true knowledge of the nature of the self. Though fully developed it yields not truth but an imaginary picture because its functioning is hindered by the weight of the sanskaras. Moreover it cannot extend beyond its desires, and therefore is limited in its scope.



The individuation of consciousness
 

The boundaries of consciousness are prescribed by the sanskaras and its functioning determined by the desires; as desires aim at self satisfaction, consciousness is self-centered. The individuation of consciousness may be said to be the effect of the vortex of desires. The soul gets enmeshed in desires, and cannot rise out of the individuality constituted by them. It imagines barriers and becomes self-hypnotized. It looks upon itself as separate from other individuals. It gets entangled in individual existence, and a world of separateness, with many individuals and their minds and bodies.

         
Separateness exists in imagination

When the rays of the sun pass through a prism, they are dispersed and separate through refraction. If each ray had consciousness, it would consider itself to be separate from the other rays, forgetting the other side of the prism. In the same way the One Being descends in the domain of Maya and assumes multiplicity. The separateness of individuals exits only in imagination. The One Being imagines separateness, and out of this division there rises "I" and "mine" opposed to "you" and "yours". Although the self is undivided unity, it appears to be divided owing to the working of imagination. Imagination is anything but the truth. The experience that the soul gathers in terms of the individualized ego is all imagination, Maya or ignorance.

With the birth of separate and limited individuality, there comes into existence the objective universe. As the limited individuality has separate existence only in imagination, the objective universe also has no separate reality. It is the One Being appearing in the second role of manifestation through the attributes. When the One Being descends in the domain of Maya, it takes upon itself the limitations of manifold existence. This self-limitation on the One Being might be looked upon as its self-sacrifice on the altar of consciousness. Although it eternally remains the One Being it suffers timeless contraction through its descent into the world of time and evolution. What, however, evolves is not the One Being, only the consciousness, which, because of its limitations, gives rise to the limited individuality.

          
The triple entanglement

The history of the limited individuality is a history of the development of the triple entanglement with the mind, energy and matter. Duality prevails in these domains, and the individual gets entangled in this duality, although the self is beyond duality. Duality implies the existence of opposites, limiting and balancing each other through mutual tension. Good and evil, virtue and vice are examples of such opposites. The ignorant soul enmeshed in duality is in the clutches of both good and evil. During the evolution of the triple entanglement with matter, energy and mind, the ignorant soul is under the influence of wanting : it wants the good and the evil of the physical world, the good and the evil of the subtle world, and the good and the evil of the mental world; and owing to the distinction of good and evil, wanting itself becomes good and evil. Wanting is to be limited by the tension of the opposites. This tension causes oscillation from one state to another, without arriving at the unlimited state. The infinite is to be sought for beyond the domain of duality, which is reached only when consciousness rises out of the limited individuality by breaking through the barriers of sanskaras.

   The chasm between consciousness and unconsciousness

We have said that the field of consciousness is limited by the sanskaras. This limitation creates a division of the human psyche into two parts, one within the range of consciousness, the other beyond it. The unconscious part in its full extent is identical with the power that is also behind matter. This is referred to as God in orthodox religions. The One Being, which is symbolically represented through such concepts, can be known only by bringing the unconscious into consciousness. An extension of consciousness consists in being conscious of that which was formerly unconscious. The progressive conquest of the unconscious by the conscious culminates in the consummate consciousness, which is unlimited. Between this highest state of consciousness and the limited consciousness of the average humanity, there are forty-nine degrees of the illumined consciousness. They mark the important stages of illumination.

          
Spiritual advancement

The gulf between the clouded consciousness of average humanity and the fully illumined consciousness of a Master is created by sanskaras. These can be removed through the perfect character, devotion and the selfless service, and through the help of a Master. Spiritual advancement consists not so much in the further development of consciousness (for it is already developed in man), as in the emancipation of consciousness from the bondage of the sanskaras. Although in essence consciousness is the same in all the different states of existence, it can never be consummate until it reflects the knowledge of Infinity without the shadow of ignorance, and covers the whole extent of the universe illumining the different spheres of existence.

            
Deep Sleep

Every time you sleep you are unconsciously united with the One Being. This unification thus bridges over the chasm between the unconscious and the conscious, but being unconscious of this union, you do not consciously derive benefit from it. This is the reason why when you wake from deep sleep you become aware of the individual you suppose yourself to be, and begin to act and experience exactly as you acted and experienced before going to sleep. If your union with the One Being had been a conscious union, you would have awakened into a new life.

A Master is consciously united with the One Being. In him the chasm between consciousness and unconsciousness is bridged, not by extension of the unconscious over the conscious as in the man who enjoys deep sleep, but by the extension of the consciousness over unconsciousness. The waxing and waning of consciousness exits in the limited individual, but in the Master the conquest of the unconscious by the conscious is final and permanent, his state of self knowledge is continuous and unbroken, and remains the same at all times without diminution. From this you can see that the Master never sleeps in the ordinary sense of the word. When he rests his body experiences no gap in consciousness.

In the state of perfection full consciousness becomes consummate by the disappearance of obstacles to illumination. The conquest of the unconscious by the conscious is complete, dwelling in the full blaze of illumination. This alone is illumination. As long as a person remains under the sway of duality and looks upon the manifoldness of experience as true, he has not passed through the domain of ignorance. In the state of final understanding there is realization that the Infinite is the only reality, pervading and including all existence. A person who has such realization has attained the highest state of consciousness, in which the fruit of evolution is retained, but the limitations of sanskaras are transcended. The limited individuality, the creation of ignorance, is transformed into Divine individuality, which is understanding. The illimitable consciousness of the Universal Being becomes individualized in this focus without illusion. One thus becomes the medium of the spontaneous flow of the supreme and universal Will, unimpaired by the separateness of Maya, the state of liberation, in which there is objectless awareness, pure being and unclouded joy. Such a one has no longer the illusions that perplex and bewilder man. In one sense he is dead. The personal ego which is the source of the sense of separateness has been for ever annihilated. But in another sense he is alive for-ever-more in love and eternal bliss. He has infinite power and wisdom, and the creation is a field for the work of perfecting mankind.

excerpted from GOD To MAN and MAN TO GOD , the discourses of MEHER BABA edited by C.B. Purdom,
Victor Gollancz Ltd, London 1955

 

                 
 

      
        
Violence and Non-Violence

Non-violence means love infinite. It is the goal of life. When pure and infinite love is reached the aspirant is at one with god. To reach this goal there must be intense longing and the aspirant who has this longing has to begin by practicing the "non-violence of the brave". This applied to those who, though not at one with all through realization, consider none to be their enemy and try to win over even the aggressor through love; they give up their lives through love not through fear.

"Non-violence of the brave" is practicable for those who have the intense longing to attain the supreme state. This longing is not to be found in the majority, If, therefore, it is intended to lead the majority to "non-violence", it is necessary first to prepare them for the "non-violence of the brave". To achieve this in a practical way it is necessary to make them follow, in the beginning, the principle of "non-violent violence" , that is, violence done solely for defending the weak without any selfish motive. In times of war, when the masses are in the mood to listen to advice about having intense longing to attain the supreme goal of life, the only practical way to lead them towards the goal is to begin inculcating in them the principle of "non-violent violence" and then gradually introducing the "non-violence of the brave". Otherwise non-violence would not only fail but there would be serious danger of the fatal "non-violence of the coward", i.e., non-resistance to aggression because of fear.

The masses may also be led to the "non-violence of the brave" by following the principles of "selfless violence" instead of those of "non-violent violence". The selfless violence is violence done in self defense when attacked treacherously. No other motive should be allowed to justify the violence. Thus for example, were a woman threatened with violation and one defends her by resorting to violence, he is said to have followed the principles of "selfless violence". Similarly when the motherland is being attacked by enemies, the nation's effort in defending the motherland is "selfless violence". An element of selfishness being there, the love expressed is limited human love.

"Non-violence of the coward" is fatal; so also is "selfish violence", i.e. violence for selfish motives by individuals or a national to gain power or for other selfish ends.

It will be therefore seen that non-violence is the goal of life, this goal is to be attained by individual seekers of God by following "non-violence of the brave". The majority who have not the intense longing for being one with God have to be led towards this goal on the principles of non-violent violence" or "selfless violence" according to the circumstances. It must be very clearly understood that "non-violent violence" and "selfless violence" are merely the means of attaining the goal of life, name the pure and simple "Non-violence" or the "Love infinite". These means must not be confused with the goal itself.

The motive and the result are determined by the acceptance of their being good or bad; for example, "non-violence of the brave" and "non-violence of the coward" are both non-violence, but, form the viewpoint of the motive force behind it, "non-violence of the brave" is born of love and "non violence of the coward" is born out of fear, which is the opposite of love. Although as non-violence they are not opposites, their motives are opposed. The motive behind "non violence of the brave" is losing one's life to gain infinite love, and the motive behind "non-violence of the coward" is to save one's own life. So "non-violence (of the coward) we describe as "non-love", as we describe "non-violence (of the brave)" as love.

"Non-violent violence" is justified not as love, but as duty - duty done selflessly for others according to Krama Yoga" which is linked with unlimited love- but human love.

The difference between these two opposite forces cannot be obliterated; but the transformation of one force to another can happen when expressed through right channels. Food given wrongly becomes poison but poison given in small quantities as a tonic may become food for the nerves. Indeed, all food is poison; it is only in the power of transformation that it becomes converted into good.

War is a necessary evil; it is in God's plan to awaken humanity to higher values. If humanity fails to profit by the lessons of war, it suffers in vain. War teaches that even the man in the street can rise to the greatest heights of sacrifice for the sake of a selfless cause; it also teaches that wealth, possessions, power, fame, family and even life on earth-are devoid of lasting value. The incidents of war can through the lessons they bring win man for God, and initiate him into a new life inspired by lasting values.

In war, people make unlimited sacrifices and endure untold sufferings for the sake of their country or in the interest of political aims; they are capable of the same sacrifices and endurance for God. All religions have unequivocally claimed man for life in Truth; and it is sheer folly to fight in the name of any religion. It is time for a fresh vision of the Truth that all life is one, that only God is real, and that God is all that matters. God is worth dying for. He is also worth living for. All else is vain and empty, the pursuit of illusory values.

excerpted from GOD To MAN and MAN TO GOD , the discourses of MEHER BABA edited by C.B. Purdom, Victor Gollancz Ltd, London 1955

All words of Avatar Meher Baba are copyright of the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Kings Road, Ahmednagar Maharashtra India. Excerpts quoted on this website from various sources are purely for the dissemination of Avatar Meher Baba's teachings.

 

 

                       
 

 

                
Baba's Words: 
 
       
To be Etched on Stone or Etched on Hearts?           
               
By Professor J.S. Rathore

I really don't know how many Baba lovers got to read an article written by Don Stevens, Wayne Smith , David Lee, Rob Ryder and Bruce Milburn which was published in the October 2001 issue of Neti Neti. This article was also circulated on the Internet and was followed by another article by Don entitled 'Preserving Baba's Words' which has been published on www.avatarmeherbaba.org . Both these articles deal with a specific issue, the details of which I would like to avoid mentioning here to conserve space. The authors have commented upon this issue at great length and with academic freedom expressing their point of view.

I read these articles with cautious interest and found myself having divergent views from those taken by the authors. I struggled with myself for a few days resisting bringing pen to paper. The hesitation was primarily not to get involved and let the matter take its own course. But being a Professor and quite tuned to 'speaking out' as an occupational hazard, I found silence to be equally troublesome. Battling this dilemma, I came across some interesting words from Thomas J. Watson, which I would like to quote:
"Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost."
I thought that this issue was important to me and that I needed to stand up and be counted.
My article thus emanates from the above background. I have the highest regard for our dearest Don Stevens and my observations on his views are just impersonal reflections on the subject matter at hand. I write as an individual Baba lover expressing my very personal opinion, hoping to provide some fresh perspectives.
Without cataloguing specific detail, I would like to believe that there are essentially three questions that we need to deal with here. The first two questions are simpler than the third but answers given by different people to these questions may not satisfy everybody at once. The third question probably needs greater introspection and maybe careful meditation on Baba's words, which again could be open to personal experiences. It would be worthwhile to point out that the answers to the first two questions have an important bearing on the perspective framework, which is needed to answer the third question. However all things considered, it is my belief that fairly acceptable answers can be arrived referring to existing Baba literature on all these issues.
These three questions are:

  1. 1 Which printed literature sources can be considered as key repositories of Meher Baba's Words?

  • 2 Are words and spiritual explanations given Baba's Mandali special and different in some way as compared to interpretations given by other Baba lovers?

 
  • 3 What can be understood by 'Natural and Unnatural Sanskaras' and did Baba at any stage imply or not-imply the existence of such 'Sanskaras'?

  •  


  • I take these questions in sequence and try to reflect upon them.

    Which printed literature sources can be considered as key repositories of Meher Baba's Words?

    The Neti article asserts that three fundamental books are key or classic sources of Baba's words (which Baba gave directly) and should be referred to in order to ensure that communications to Baba lovers by other Baba lovers or Mandali for that matter, are not in divergence or contradiction to these sources. These books are:
  • God Speaks

  • Listen Humanity and

  • Discourses

The above list has some important omissions and commissions. Some interesting facets related to the publication history also need to be gone into to get things in their proper perspective. But before I list what is missing, we need to evolve a logical framework for categorizing numerous books published on Beloved Baba. This framework is necessary because Meher Baba abandoned the use of spoken word from 10 July 1925, written word from 1 January 1927 and alphabet board from 7 October 1954. One somewhat unambiguous and logical framework for categorizing books on Baba emanates from the following:

  1. 1 Books directly written by Baba and which did not go through any subsequent editing.

  2. 2 Books directly dictated by Baba and which did not go through any subsequent editing.

  3. 3 Books on spiritual themes Baba ordered a select few to write as per his instructions.

  4. 4 Books complied by others based on Baba's discourses and subsequently edited.

  5. 5 Books written by others on life of Baba or events as recorded in diaries or first person accounts.

  6. 6 Books written by individuals on Baba, on varied facets of His life and work and their experiences or reminiscences.

When we talk of classic literature sources that directly came from Baba, clearly books falling in the first two categories i.e. books that were either written by Baba himself (in his own hand) or dictated by him and were then not edited by any one else, need to be included. What can also perhaps be included in this category is one special book falling in category three above because Baba dictated two chapters of that book.

In this referral framework, let us now see the omissions from the neti list. In 1998, 39 pages written by Meher Baba Himself sometime in 1925 were accidentally discovered. These 39 pages constitute a matchless document on Self-knowledge and were published in the year 2000 in book form entitled In God's Hand: Explanations of Spirituality in Meher Baba's Own Hand. Where does one place In God's Hand which is in Meher Baba's own handwriting and which Baba himself wrote! Is In God's Hand not a fundamental and classic source of Baba's words?

Next is the omission of The Nothing and The Everything written by Bhau Kalchuri, which as Baba himself mentioned, presents 10% of "The Book" which Baba wrote. In May 1967, at Guru Prasad Pune, Baba instructed Bhau: "You have to write one book titled The Nothing and The Everything. The Everything and The Nothing is already written and you made the translation interesting and expanded it with songs and a commentary. Now you will write The Nothing and The Everything. This is an important book. I will give you ten percent of the Book I wrote in 1925 and 1926." Baba returned to Meherazad in May and entered strict seclusion. One night He gestured to Bhau: "Get some paper and your pen. I want you to write down some things ... and do not interrupt. I am going to give you points from the Book I wrote." The dictation of points continued for about five months until November 1967. Baba instructed Bhau to write down the points as a whole, fit them together and finish the description by the following morning. Everyday Bhau would read back to Baba the whole section based on the points dictated the previous day. Chronologically Baba first gave the story "The Mischievous Chicken," followed by "The Two Kings" which Baba Himself supplemented by drawing the diagram about Rajas Sarvagna and Sarvasva and Maharani Vaikunth. In 1968 Baba started giving the points for the part titled by Him in Hindi, "Apar Vidya" meaning Infinite Intelligence. Once Bhau wondered whether Baba was actually giving him ten percent of His own Book or He was merely passing the time to ease the strain of His inner work. Reading Bhau's thought Baba scolded, "What is the matter with you? You have been with me for so many years - have no doubt about what you are doing. Remember that I am giving you ten percent of my own Book. This work is not just writing! It is not a pastime. My Book is the most important Book in the world." It should interest many that though the chapter "The Mischievous Chicken" was dictated in 1967, Baba had drawn a line sketch of Himself as a chicken on 30 July 1953. The Nothing and The Everything was published in 1981 by Manifestation, Inc. In 1998, a large manuscript Infinite Intelligence was also accidentally discovered along with 39 pages, mentioned above. There are strong reasons to believe that Infinite Intelligence is the Book that Baba wrote in 1925 and 1926. Infinite Intelligence includes the text of In God's Hand, sometimes verbatim and sometimes in paraphrases. It also includes explanations given in The Nothing and The Everything. The Nothing and The Everything gives detailed descriptions of spiritual cosmology. Quite a good number of terms, including sanskara, used by Baba come from ancient Hindu thought and Beloved Baba has explained them in His own way. The Nothing and The Everything is the only source of their detailed explanations. The Nothing and The Everything is therefore a classic source, and although falling probably in category three above, is unique because Baba ordered it to be written and himself participated in its writing by giving sketches and points for expansion.

There is one other little book entitled The Everything and The Nothing bearing Meher Baba's name as the author missing from the list. This little book presents a compilation which was essentially derived from the discourses which Baba gave in response to some of the questions raised by one Prof. Niranjan Singh and noted by Francis Brabazon, one of Baba's mandali. Because of its size, The Everything and The Nothing has an extremely useful place of its own.

A list of classic sources therefore would not be complete without including In God's Hand, The Everything and The Nothing and The Nothing and the Everything .

Now lets have a factual look at the background and publication history of books mentioned in the Neti list. God Speaks by Meher Baba was published in 1955. Out of the ten chapters of this book, chapters 1-8 were given by Meher Baba through an alphabet board. Chapters 9-10 were written by Eruch, one of mandali, on the basis of notes given by Baba in the same manner. God Speaks in the referral framework (Category 2) mentioned above comes directly from Baba and is most definitely a classic source of Baba's words. About God Speaks, to devotees gathered in 1962, Baba said: " If you read through the entire book carefully, you will come to know what true spirituality is." God Speaks did not pass through any subsequent editorial encounter.

However another great Baba book Discourses, passed through many editorial hands. When the Meher Baba Journal first appeared in November 1938, it was arranged that a discourse or a message by Baba would be included in each issue. Dr. C. D. Deshmukh, a member of the Meher Editorial Committee, was given the primary responsibility of editing and preparing the dictated material for inclusion in the Journal. At the end of each year, the monthly articles by Baba were compiled into one volume. In this way the first four volumes of the Discourses appeared in book form. After the Meher Baba Journal ceased production in October 1942, a subsequent volume of additional discourses was brought out, thus completing the first five-volume edition of the Discourses between 1939-1943. In 1948 Beloved Baba authorized Charles B. Purdom to edit and condense the Discourses in one volume for publication in the West. The title chosen was God to Man and Man to God: the Discourses of Meher Baba and it was first published in England in 1955 by Victor Gollancz Ltd. In the Introduction of this book Purdom wrote: " The discourses contained in this volume were not, usually, dictated word by word. Baba's method was to state a theme and to indicate a general outline, which was completed by an Indian disciple, though sometimes he would go over every word. The language and methods of illustrating what was said were for Indian hearers and readers; in preparing the discourses for Western publication they have not been re-written, but what seemed to be redundant words or phrases have been eliminated to reduce their length and to make them clearer without, however, any other change."

In 1950s in a letter that appeared in The Awakener (vol.3, no.1, 1955), Mani, Meher Baba's sister had observed: "Now we find there are places in the original Discourses where Deshmukh obviously misinterpreted the point, with the result that there are several important errors..." In the seventh edition of Discourses it is stated that "at first it was planned to simply reprint the text as it appeared in the sixth edition; But it soon became clear that some textual changes would have to be made." Even a casual graze through Purdom's God to Man and Man to God and the seventh edition of Discourses reveals substantial and significant alterations. For example, if someone wanted to hold an indepth academic discussion on Natural and Non-Natural Sanskaras, this is what he would read in C.B. Purdom's God to Man and Man to God (pp.76-77) ; "The sanskaras are of two main types - natural and the so-called non-natural - according to the manner in which they come into existence" . But if he or she happened to lift the seventh edition of Discourses (pp.32-33) what he would get to read is - " The sanskaras are of two types - natural and nonnatural -according to the manner in which they come into existence". The omission of "the so-called" is quite significant and opens a new thought dimension! In summary, Discourses covers a wide spectrum of spiritual themes that relate to our real life problems. It is indeed a great book and is definitely a classic source of Baba's words that is extremely useful to understand spiritual themes in a general way. However, any pedantic discussion based on this book (i.e. in its various editions) can at times, create some confusion due to reasons cited above. Nevertheless Discourses is a classic source of Baba's words.

Listen Humanity, which bears Meher Baba's name as the author, is a book of a different kind when compared to God Speaks and Discourses. It has three parts. Part I is a narration of Meher Baba sahvas programmes; Part II & III deal with the various spiritual themes. Narration and editing is done by Don Stevens. Part II is an edited compilation of the original essays given by Meher Baba while Part III presents Don's interpretive observations. Acknowledging the sources for the original essays incorporated in Part II, Don writes: " It is difficult to know just who should be gratefully acknowledged for their part in the collecting and editing of the original essays which were combined to form the body of Part II of this volume. Certainly, Professor C. D. Deshmukh, best known for his editing of the Discourses, and Adi K. Irani, Meher Baba's tireless secretary and manager of Meher Publications, played an extremely important role. In connection with certain other material included in Part II, grateful recognition is also given to Meher Publications, to Circle Publications and to the Awakener for the use of portions previously printed by them. About the entire book Don writes: "Finally, the entire contents of the volume have been approved by Meher Baba. It cannot be pretended that therefore everything is as Meher Baba would have described it himself, nor that Meher Baba necessarily agrees completely with certain expressions of opinion which have inevitably been the narrator's." Listen Humanity is indeed a wonderful book but in my view, it cannot be bracketed with God Speaks and Discourses.

In summary, when trying to argue on what is and what is not in conformity with Baba's words as they appear in classic sources, there is a need to accurately define classic sources. It is perfectly possible that some difficult spiritual matter that may be evasive to our understanding referring to One classic source like God Speaks may become clearer using insights offered by another classic source like In God's Hand. The Neti list in my opinion therefore needs to be revised in this context and background.

If I had the liberty of drawing a list, I would probably come up with the following. Those who are keen to take a deep plunge into the fundamental spiritual knowledge as given by the Avatar, In God's Hand, God Speaks and The Nothing and The Everything constitute a complete kit. For those who are interested in reflecting life problems in the light of Beloved Baba's spiritual world-view, the Discourses is an immensely useful book. And for those, who are interested in a sort of a rapid reader of fundamental spiritual concepts, The Everything and The Nothing is an interesting book to read.

Among Baba's biographies, which abound with explanations given by Him of different themes, Bhau's historic work Meher Prabhu -Lord Meher: The Biography of the Avatar of the Age Meher Baba running into 20 volumes published by Manifestation, Inc., U.S.A. is an all time classic. Never before has the life of the Avatar been presented in such details supported by massive photographic evidence. Jean Adriel's Avatar, Francis Brabazon's Silent Word, Charles B. Purdom's The God-Man and Much Silence: Meher Baba, His Life and Work by Tom & Dorothy Hopkinson are other biographical classics.

 
Are words, messages and spiritual explanations given by Baba's Mandali special and different in some way as compared to interpretations given by other Baba lovers?

Although this question can be viewed generally, it is important to mention here that in the context of this article, the need to ponder on this question emanated from a very direct observation in the Neti articles on Bhau's Awakening Messages. The authors (Smith , Lee and others) in these articles try hard to categorize Bhau's Awakening messages as his 'Personal Intuition' and ask whether such messages can become 'public property'?

This attempt to fit all that is happening with Bhau in an intellectual space of our choice takes us no where. When intellect fails to understand something, it seeks gratification in giving it a name. However, words quite often work as blind alleys. Intuition is one such word and quite a dangerous one at that. Words such as instinct, sixth sense, divination, pre-sentiment, clairvoyance, second sight, extra-sensory perception etc., that can describe or replace 'intuition' also do not convey much. In the end, the word 'intuition' remains as unintelligible as it was at the beginning. Even in our daily lives, it is so hard to separate 'wishful thinking' from 'intution'. Quite often, what we accept as 'intuition' in reality turns out to be just a delayed conclusion of an initially inconclusive rational thought process. This is not to negate true intuition, which at some stage in our life plays an important role in strengthening our faith in the transcendental.

In short, I wish to point out how difficult it is to differentiate within us, between true intuition and wishful thinking. How difficult it should then be to identify it in others! It would therefore be quite erroneous to suggest that all transcendental experiences come within the realm of intuition. In this light, adopting a judgemental posture on Bhau's experiences, categorizing them as 'intuition' and rejecting them alleging that they are tainted and in contradiction to Baba's words, would indeed be most unfair.

This brings us to an important question: Who is Bhau? Bhau is Meher Baba's close mandali - a member of Avatar's inner Circle. About Avatar's Circle Baba has revealed: "Like the Perfect Masters, the Avatar also has His Circle (of ten concentric Circles). When the Avatar takes an incarnation, He has before Him a clear-cut mission that proceeds according to a plan; and this plan is always carefully adjusted to the flow of time. The process of the incarnation of the Avatar is unique. Before taking on a physical body and descending into the world of duality, He gives to Himself and members of His Circles special types of sanskaras, which are known as vidnyani sanskaras. The Circles of the Avatar always consist of a total of 122 members, and all of them have to take an incarnation when the Avatar takes an incarnation (Discourses, p.291)"

Members of the Avatar's Circle are not only innately programmed to play their specific roles but the levels of their consciousness are qualitatively different from those of others. Meher Baba stopped Eruch to study further while Bhau was asked to complete his post-graduation. Dr. William Donkin, a medical doctor, was chosen to write 'The Wayfarers'. Each one of the Avatar's Circle was groomed to play a pre-ordained role. Bhau was virtually forced by Baba to write poems, plays etc. on spiritual themes and instructed to write Baba's biography. He was also chosen to receive 10% of 'the Book' that Meher Baba wrote. This 10% has appeared in 'The Nothing and The Everything' bearing Bhau's name as the author. Some portions of this book were given by Baba to Bhau as specific 'connecting points' to be enlarged later. At times Bhau would not be able to fit all the points together or fully understand their relationship and meaning. Baba would then assure," Just take down what I am giving you now. Don't interrupt Me, and everything will be crystal clear to you later." This appropriate time came after Baba dropped His body in 1969. In his Monday and Friday talks at Meher Pilgrim Centre, Bhau quite often narrates the amusing story of his head being repeatedly spanked by Kaka Baria, one of mandali, on encouragement by Baba. Mani, Baba's sister, connected Bhau's head thrashing with the gift of clarity that Bhau got from Baba on the points given by Him earlier.

To many, this may appear naive and funny but the spiritual process does not follow the linear logic of the intellect. Bhau's consciousness is innately tuned with Baba by none other than Baba Himself in a mystic way that probably we cannot understand. So, nothing new is happening with Bhau. Only for reasons best known to him, Bhau has started sharing Baba's revelations with all of us much more freely. In his Awakening circulars, Bhau is neither developing an intellectual argument nor he is re-interpreting any thing. He is just sharing his mystic experiences. There is, therefore, no point in coming with a bag full of books and asking him to come with his own.

Avatar Meher Baba has said that He has come not to establish any new religion. He belongs to no religion. Every religion belongs to Him. When His Universal religion of Love is on the verge of fading into insignificance, He comes to breathe life into it, and to do away with the farce of dogmas that defile it in the name of religion and stifle it with ceremonies and rituals. Intellectual alertness, on the part of Baba lovers is therefore imperative in holding them from falling prey to attempts to create a central referral authority at the individual level and at the organized group level. The world is overflowing with Avatar's Grace and access to Him is direct and without any intermediary.

However, an essential pre-requisite to the success of any call for intellectual alertness is making a statement in such a manner so that it dissipates freely and sinks down in the hearts of Baba lovers without any bias, conditioning and external pressure of individuals claiming seniority or closeness to Baba. A good number of Baba lovers are averse to intellectual polemics as they sincerely believe that spirituality goes much beyond the realms of intellect. Intellect is of help only up to a point, beyond which it is an impediment and need be discarded. Mind is not Buddha. Learning is not the path. Posers such as "What is the responsibility of the Baba community in relation to such revelations?" or "We therefore become very concerned and feel the need, as mentioned above, to step back and reassess what is taking place" only show that the intellect is laying its most attractive trap through self-assigned roles. India has suffered immensely when indulgent intellectualism has divided Self-Knowledge of Upanishads into six darshana or schools of philosophy namely nyaya, vaisheshika, samkhya, yoga, mimansa and vedanta.

Three decades have passed since Beloved Baba dropped His physical body and none of the mandali has ever taken the position of authority or the sole interpreter of Baba's life and thought. The simplicity and humility of men and women mandali of Meher Baba is simply amazing and deeply inspiring. Therefore, one time-tested approach to such a situation as reading Bhau's messages is to absorb with humility and gratefulness whatever one can understand and to keep meditating on the rest.

What can be understood by 'Natural and Unnatural Sanskaras' and did Baba at any stage imply or not-imply the existence of such 'Sanskaras'?

The Neti articles, referring to Bhau's awakening messages pose specific questions relating to sanskaras, trying to question their validity with reference to Baba's words as available in the Neti list of classic sources. The questions raised are as follows:

(1) Use of terminology - Natural and Unnatural Sanskaras.

(2) One set of impressions takes one towards the Reality of God and the other set of impressions leads us away. Does this correspond to Baba's explanations?

(3) A promise to reincarnate with only 'Natural' impressions. (Along with Utopia). Does this flow from Baba's own words?

(4) Does Baba ever remove a person's karma?

In short, the above issues raised about sanskaras basically relate to the use of correct terminology and correct interpretation of sanskaras and sanskaric processes in the light of the words given by Meher Baba.

In their Neti article entitled "Baba's Words", Rob Ryder and Bruce Milburn contend that Bhau's use of the word "unnatural" for sanskaras does not find support in the "classic sources" of God Speaks, Listen Humanity and the Discourses and that the terms which Baba used are "Natural" and "Non-Natural". Interpreting Bhau's expression "Unnatural impressions create evil forces" as equating these impressions with evil or bad and "Natural" with good, Ryder and Milburn observe: "The above statement equates natural with good and unnatural with bad, thus one set of impressions is spiritually beneficial and the other is spiritually disastrous. This is very misleading, because Baba clarifies that all impressions, however evaluated, bind us to duality. In determining what is spiritually beneficial or non beneficial we should not distinguish between the types of impressions involved, but rather their relation to actions and experiences and their birth through desire." The argumentative thrust is that if bad is an iron chain, good is the chain of gold. Both bind and the state of Freedom is found when both balance and terminate each other. So, no sanskara takes one towards, or away from Reality i.e. God: " When there is an exact balancing and overlapping of good and bad sanskaras there is at once a termination of both types of sanskaras and the precipitation of consciousness from a state of bondage to a state of Freedom. (Discourses, Good and Evil, p. 63)"

In Discourses we read about many categories of sanskaras such as subjective and objective; gross, subtle and mental; natural and non-natural; vidnyani and yogayoga. Excepting "Natural and Non-Natural" rest of the above mentioned categories find mention in God Speaks.

However, In God's Hand (not considered at all by the neti article) has introduced a totally new perspective on sanskaras in relation to this category, and a better understanding of what Bhau is communicating would need a serious thinking on the entire issue of sanskaras.

In God's Hand starts with this statement:

"Real I (i.e. Mind Stopped, i.e. Self) = Light Natural

False I (i.e. mind working, egoism) = darkness unnatural.

The Existence of Natural Light = Darkness Natural.

The existence of unnatural darkness = unnatural light (i.e. the

universe, Maya, all that the unnatural darkness - i.e. false I, i.e.

egoism - sees, hears, smells, eats, and experiences throughout).

[This is so] because, [as] we have seen, where there is Light there must be Darkness.

As that Darkness proves the existence of Light, so because Darkness is, Light is. Thus:

because Natural Darkness is, Natural Light is;

because unnatural darkness is, unnatural light is. "

And this statement on page 8:

"The Mind Stopped is Light, God, Self.

Mind working is false I, slave.

 

Thus in every one of you there is Natural Light (i.e. your Real Self) and Natural Darkness (i.e. the Existence of Light, i.e. Spirit), and unnatural darkness (i.e. mind) and unnatural light (i.e. body, and the whole universe)."

An elaborate statement on sanskara is given on pages 36-37:

"This means mind's concentration = sound sleep (no.3);

mind's advancement = dream (no.4);

mind's stopping = Awakening (no.5).

(This must happen in ordinary awake state.) Now when mind is working, sanskaras (imagination = impressions) are formed; for the sake of experiencing these sanskaras the body comes forth, and for the sake of the body comes forth the world. In other words, because sanskaras exist, the body and the world exist. If there are no sanskaras (which are the cause of all imagination and assertions like "I," "that is mine," "I and mine"), then there cannot be any body and world. This means that the body and world are only the creation of imagination. In concentration, the mind makes great effort to remain aloof from sanskaras, that is, aloof from body and from world, and when the final stage of concentration is attained, then the sanskaras - or body and world - become "nothing" (i.e. vanish). For this to happen, many ages are required. But the Sadguru by a single nazar can destroy all sanskaras. And the absence of all sanskaras means the stopping of the mind. For when there are sanskaras, the mind functions, and when there are no sanskaras, the mind is stopped. The stopping and the functioning of the mind depend, [respectively,] upon the absence or existence of sanskaras. "

Mind working is darkness unnatural and when the mind is working, sanskaras (imagination = impressions) are formed. All mind born sanskaras are the formations of unnatural darkness and are, therefore, fundamentally unnatural. In God's Hand, words "Natural" and "unnatural" have been given profound spiritual meanings. The word "Natural" is used only for "Natural Light or Real Self" and "Natural Darkness or Spirit" i.e. for "That", which remains after mind is irreversibly stopped.

On page 29, Baba diagrammatically presents the "distance" between us and Reality i.e. God. On one end is the universe and on the other is the Self and in between are body, mind, 7 planes and Spirit, in that order. Within us this "distance" between us and the Real Self is marked by 5 states: false (1) ordinary awake state, false (2) ordinary dream, (3) ordinary sound sleep, Real (4) Divine Dream, Turiyaa, i.e. the seven and their manifestations, Real (5) Divine Awakening, i.e. Sound Sleep in the Awake State. So long we are oscillating between (1) and (3), we are "far far away" from Reality. It is only when we enter from (3) to (4), we are somewhat "nearer". Final termination of both types of sanskaras takes place at plane 6 of Real (4) Divine Dream and not at (3) ordinary sound sleep.

The statement on pages 23 - 24 of In God's Hand reveals that some sanskaras not only continue but also help us in pushing our way across the planes and leading us towards Reality, God: "... So by the process of concentration is the Goal attained. But the concentration must reach such a stage as to make mind stop. This is a very difficult process, and it takes a very, very long time: because the mind - if it succeeds in concentrating a little - to it is manifested the first plane, which so interests it, that it gets concentrated on that only. And if it (by the grace of the Guru, or [by] its sanskaras) concentrates more, the second plane is manifested, and here the chances of its concentrating further become [even] less."

It is imperative for Baba lovers not to forget that "The Book" which Baba wrote is yet to appear. About His book Beloved Baba has said on 7th August 1927: "The Big Book I have written will be the future Bible, Koran, Avesta and Veda, and it will be universally accepted by all castes and creed." Baba lovers, who sincerely seek integral intellectual understanding of the fundamental spiritual knowledge, as given by Him, will have to patiently wait until "The Book" is made public and published. Take the case of the book In God's Hand. The contents of this book were written by Baba in 1925 but remained unavailable until 2000. None of the classic sources - God Speaks, Discourses, The Nothing and The Everything - provide the details and insights given by In God's Hand. What new concepts the "Big Book" will give, we do not know. We should, therefore, earnestly wait for Beloved Baba's Words. In the intervening period, rushing to conclusions or being judgemental about others is best avoided.

Our dearest Eruch was very fond of narrating this story. Beloved Baba one day asked the mandali, "Who do you take me to be?" The mandali offered many answers in reply. However, none of these answers were satisfactory to Baba. Finally, Baba himself gave the answer: "Who is Meher Baba? He is the One who provokes this question in you. The Being of all Beings."

The world has suddenly entered a phase of great physical churning, value perception and spiritual transformation. Baba is provoking all these questions, which we are asking today, or would ask tomorrow. Answers to them would also come from Him. We should keep on holding His feet, His daman.

              
Professor J.S. Rathore is the author of the 'Shore to Shoreless: A Voyage across the Ocean of Existence with Meher Baba'.

           
Reproduced gratefully from: Meher Baba Bhopal Centre

 

    

          
 


Meher Baba

 
I. Profile Report

     

    1. Name: Meher Baba (born Merwan Shehariarji Irani)

       

    2. Founder: Merwan Shehariarji Irani

       

    3. Date of Birth and Death: February 25, 1894-January 31, 1969

       

    4. Birth Place: Guruprasad, Poona, India

       

    5. Year Groups were Founded: 

      Meher Baba first established a following in 1922 in Bombay. In 1931 Baba visited the U.S. and established a loose following there. In 1952 he accepted the inheritance of the Sufis Reoriented in the U.S.. Meher Baba's followings include the Sheriar Foundation, as well as numerous other Meher Baba Groups. Some of these groups such as Meher Baba Information of Berkeley, CA, and the Society for Avatar Meher Baba of New York City were formed after his death in 1969. There are also a number of publications such as MANifestation, Inc., GLOW International, and a kids' magazine, Rainbow! devoted to spreading Baba's message

       

    6. Brief History: 

      Upon close interaction with guru Hazrat Babajan, Merwan later said that he had experienced self-realization and from there he persued the teachings of other spiritual masters including Upasani Maharaj who declared Merwan "one who has come to full God-realization." Ultimately, Baba was proclaimed to be the Avatar or manifestation of God in human form. (Hopkinson) He believed his duties as Avatar to include awakening the human spirit to a realization of God. His main teachings are Universal Love and Devotion, two qualities he believed could heal the materialism of his age. Baba first set up schools in India as well as his own community, Meherabad, in order to provide a place for "devotees" or disciples to do work. The cosupervisor of the Meher Center, Kitty Davy sums up, "The Avatar is God in human form. He comes again at the right moment, when the world is in chaos and materialism as it is now, to live again the way of life which is expressed in selfless service, because love means action. Baba says the material and spiritual must go hand in hand. You cannot stay in a spiritual retreat for your whole life and find God. God must be found in the world, through sevice, through selfless action."(Anthony)

       

    7. Sacred or Revered Texts: 

      There are no sacred texts exclusive to followers of Meher Baba, other than the sacred texts of their own denomination. His two most famous writings are the Discourses and God Speaks. God Speaks was written as a spiritual guide for Westerners who are unfamiliar with the sacred universal or cosmic realm of the spirit.

       

    8. Cult or Sect: 

      Negative sentiments are typically implied when the concepts "cult" and "sect" are employed in popular discourse. Since the Religious Movements Homepage seeks to promote religious tolerance and appreciation of the positive benefits of pluralism and religious diversity in human cultures, we encourage the use of alternative concepts that do not carry implicit negative stereotypes. For a more detailed discussion of both scholarly and popular usage of the concepts "cult" and "sect," please visit our Conceptualizing "Cult" and "Sect" page, where you will find additional links to related issues.

       

    9. Size of Group: 

      The size of Meher Baba's following is estimated at near one hundred thousand in India. In the U.S., the size is substantially less and broken down by individual community centers with varying membership. (Anthony)

       

    10. Remarks: 

    11. Meher Baba was influential to many cultural icons of the 1960's counterculture including Pete Townshend of "the Who" and other artists. Baba is credited with converting the self-destructive lifestyle of many drug users to a life of community service and personal meaning. (Anthony)

     

     

                  
     II. Beliefs

     

      Meher Baba and his followers believe that he was the God incarnate and the Avatar of the "dark or iron" age, also called the Kali Yuga. This age is our present time period in history, and the last of the atavistic cycle. This cycle included the predecessors: Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Christ, and Mohammed. (Needleman) Baba believed that the avatar's duty is to "awaken humanity to a realization of its spiritual nature and quicken the whole life of the spirit of his time. . ." Baba was concerned about the materialist culture of his age and was devoted to spreading the understanding of a cosmic sacredness. As an Avatar, Meher Baba's message was the metaphysical unity of all persons through a relationship of Divine Love. By loving Baba, Baba lovers can learn to love others. In the highest, most intense, state of love, Divine Love, the distinction between the lover and the beloved ceases and one attains union with God. (Melton)

      Baba's teachings are influenced heavily by Zoroastrianism, which is his native religion, and Sufism, as well as from Indian gurus and mystics, many of whom agreed that Meher Baba was special. He also used the teachings of various other religions believing that one's religious denomination did not interfere with one's ability to attain the highest level of spirituality. He encouraged all followers to maintain their respective religious practices except when they conflicted with his teaching of abstaining from sex until marriage. Meher Baba incorporated many of the Eastern religious themes into his teachings including that the soul or consciousness was detachable from the physical body and that one's soul never ceases to exist. Ideas such as this become increasingly complex as Baba delves into levels of consciousness and spirituality. (Hopkinson)

 

 

III. Links to Meher Baba Web Sites

 

 

IV. Selected References

 

    Anthony, Dick and Thomas Robbins. June 1972.

    "Getting Straight With Meher Baba," Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 11 No. 2.

     

    Baba, Meher. 1973.

    Who is Meher Baba?, Meher Era Publications, Poona, India.

     

    Hopkinson, Tom and Dorothy. 1981.

    Much Silence, Meher Baba: His Life and Work, Meher House Publications, Bombay, India

     

    Melton, J. Gordon. 1986.

    Biographical Dictionary of American Cult and Sect Leaders, Garland Publishing, Inc. New York

     

    Melton, J. Gordon. 1978.

    Encyclopedia of American Religions Vol. 2, McGrath Publishing Co., Wilmington, NC

     

    Miller, Timothy ed. 1995.

    America's Alternative Religions, State University of New York Press, Albany.

     

    Needleman, Jacob. 1970.

    The New Religions, Doubleday & Co., Garden City NY

     

 

Prepared by: Jon Brandt
Soc 257, New Religious Movements
Spring Term, 1997
Last modified: 07/6/01

Reproduced gratefully from:

www.religiousmovements.org

 

 

 

 

Go to Meher Baba Page II

 

  Go to Annette's Beautiful Website Dedicated to Jeffrey Mylett and Godspell
With The Short Story of My Own Meeting With The Cast Member of the Movie Godspell
And Baba Lover Jeffrey Mylett.

 

Links to Meher Baba Websites:

 

Sheriar Foundation

Sheriar Books - Baba Bookstore on the Web

Videos of Meher Baba

One of the Video Collections Available From Sheriar Books. For more info just click on picture.

 

Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

American Website

Australian Website

Norwegian Website

TrustMeher Website

Meher Baba Association UK Website

Jaibaba.com Missouri USA Website

Babadas Website  

Avatar Meher Baba Trust

Meher Mount Website

New York Meher Baba House

MeherBaba.org Website

Youth Sahvas Website

Meher Spiritual Centre

Meher Baba Delhi Centre Website

Baba Video Clips

Virtual Tour of Meher Baba's Samadhi

Baba's Paintings and Prints

Baba Paintings by Wodin

AvatarMeherBaba.com Website 

http://meherbaba.co.uk
http://indians.australians.com/meherbaba

http://www.MeherBabaTheAvatar.com
http://www.jaibaba.com

http://avatarmeherbaba.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revised: July 18, 2010 .   Communication:   discoverer73(at symbol)hotmail.com     Go to Home Page     Go to Index of All Articles Pages       
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