A detailed chronology of his life and mission, with candid discussion of his personality and methods, and with many of his teachings on Divine Realization
1. Avatar Meher Baba: A Detailed Chronology of His Life and Mission
2. A Candid View of Baba’s Personality and Methods of Working with Disciples
3. Extensive Selections from Meher Baba’s Delightful Teachings on Divine Realization
(Scroll down about one-third the length of this very long page to begin this very large Teachings section.)
(NOTE: I dedicate this very long webpage, the equivalent of about a 150-page book, to Meher Baba's deathless Divine Spirit of Love, and to my wife Laura Lee, a longtime devotee of Baba since 1983, and to all "Baba-lovers." Meher Baba was actually the first modern-era spiritual master of the East whom I learned about, from a young lady friend in 1971 when I was just 17. But though I read numerous books on Baba and his teachings over the years, well appreciating his original teachings on nondual Realization, it was only upon meeting Laura in 1994 that I began the really thorough study of his life and mission that led to amassing the materials that comprise this big webpage. Jai Baba!)
Photo: Meher Baba, circa 1927-8, at Meherabad, India.
Part 1: Avatar Meher Baba (1894-1969):
A Chronology of His Life and Mission
© Copyright 2002 by Timothy Conway, Ph.D.
February 25, 1894: Meherwan (Merwan) Sheriar Irani, later to be known as Meher Baba, “Compassionate Father,” is born to two devout Zoroastrians, Sheriar Mundegar Irani (1853-1932) and Shireenbanu (1878-1943) living in Poona, India, a hill-station 110 miles southeast of Bombay. Baba’s Persian-born father, Sheriar, a devout spiritual aspirant, had spent eight years roaming as a dervish in Persia and ten years wandering as a faqir in India, before settling down to work sundry jobs, marry young Shireenbanu in 1892, and help raise a family of six boys and two daughters (one son and a daughter died very young). Merwan, the second child, is a happy, bright lad, a bit mischievous, but gentle and sensitive. He loves music, poetry, and sports, and, while a natural leader of his peers, also enjoys solitude, sitting quietly for hours at the Muslim burial-grounds and the Parsi tower of silence for the dead. (His Persian grandfather had been custodian of such a tower.) Merwan receives a middle-class education at Camp Govt. English School and St. Vincent’s High School, before attending prestigious Deccan College. He focuses on the poets of classic Persian, Indian and English traditions (Shakespeare, Milton, and Shelley are his favorite English poets). Deeply inspired by the Persian Sufi poet-saint Hafiz, he composes his own poetry in Persian, Gujarati, Urdu, and English; some of the poems are published in Bombay newspapers. He delights in religious music and singing. In addition to spiritual influence from his father, his aunt Piroja tells him inspiring tales of saints and sages.
May, 1913: Riding his bicycle home one day during his second year of college, Merwan is beckoned and embraced by the venerable old Sufi sage, Hazrat Babajan (d. Sep. 29, 1931, allegedly 125-140 years old at death—see Chapter 5 in my book Women of Power & Grace for much more about the amazing Babajan). Merwan begins visiting her every evening at her mysterious power spot under a neem tree on Poona’s outskirts.
Jan., 1914: One night Babajan kisses the nearly 20-year-old Merwan on his forehead, launching him into God-realization. (“It was Babajan who caused me in less than the flash of a second to experience my most original state of being the Ancient One.”) Ten minutes later, back at home, Merwan is oblivious of body, mind and world for three days in a state of perfect Nirvikalpa samadhi, Divine absorption. For the next eleven months he wanders, immersed in pure consciousness, subsisting only on small amounts of weak tea or water without any food or sleep—defying all biological requirements. He later says that, while in this state of consciousness, he moved about and acted like an automaton, with no normal promptings by the mind and no knowledge of the things he did. After eleven months some body-awareness returns.
April, 1915: Merwan visits a famous saint, Narayan Maharaj (1885-1945) of Kedgaon; they converse in private. With his friend and first disciple Behramji, Merwan visits Tajuddin Baba (d. 1925) of Nagpur, who silently caresses his face. (The biographical literature tells how both these saints singled out Merwan for special attention.) In Dec. 1915, at Babajan’s behest, Merwan goes with friend Khodu 50 miles north to receive “the key” from the renowned God-Man, Sai Baba of Shirdi (d. 1918; Merwan: “you will never be able to understand thoroughly how great Sai Baba was. He was the very personification of perfection,” D.E. Stevens, Listen, Humanity, 1957). Sai initially resists him, but while on procession sees the prostrating Merwan and luminously thrice declares: Parvardigar!—a Muslim name for the Hindu deity-aspect Vishnu, the Divine Sustainer of the cosmos. Then Merwan follows Sai’s pointing and leads his friend Khodu to a small Hindu temple-hut three miles away to meet Sai’s foremost disciple, the tremendous ascetic Upasani Maharaj (1870-1941). Upasani greets Merwan by forcefully throwing a rock at him, right at the same spot on Merwan’s forehead kissed 31 months earlier by Hazrat Babajan! The blow brings Merwan greater consciousness of the physical world. (NOTE: Most spiritual aspirants ardently seek an experience beyond the usual body-identification. By contrast, in Meher Baba's case, we see that, after the profoundly awakening kiss by Babajan, he and Upasani and others were all trying to help him return to a semblance of body-identification again so that he could function within this dream-world for the sake of helping fellow beings identified with it.) After two days of private communion with Upasani within the tiny temple, Merwan emerges and returns with Khodu to Poona.
1916-17: Nightly he sits close to Hazrat Babajan, who speaks of Merwan to her followers, “He is my son, my beloved son… He is why I am here in Poona… One day my son will shake the world. You have no idea of his greatness. ” Merwan spends considerable time at the Parsi tower of silence or in the jungle, once a month also visiting Sai Baba and training intensely with Upasani in his hut (and at a new ashram in Sakori from 1917 on). Upasani not only conveys the depths of Vedanta lore to Merwan, he also states that Zoroaster was a Divine Incarnation (a view shocking to the Zoroastrian priests). Merwan and Upasani at one point start to correspond, but their letters are incomprehensible to others. Merwan begins his days singing Zoroastrian devotional works. He composes Sufi-style ghazals, spiritual love songs, and also hymns to Upasani and Babajan, published in a Gujarati weekly. He also daily pounds his head forcefully against tile floors, rocks and walls for hours to relieve the pain of “coming down” from formless God-consciousness to awareness of the human plane. His state usually makes him seem rather drunk, his head hanging low. Despite this, Merwan engages in odd jobs at his mother’s concerned behest, including a stint teaching grade school, managing a traveling theatre troupe at Calcutta and Lahore, and then, in 1917, working at his father’s teashop and toddy shop. Merwan and his father Sheriar talk and sing of God and love. The God-intoxicated Merwan infuses spiritual joy into the euphoric customers at the toddy shop; but he refuses to sell toddy to certain vulnerable alcoholics, counseling them instead to give up the habit. When his beloved aunt Piroja dies, Merwan takes spiritual charge of his young cousins Naja and Pendu.
Aug. 1918: Merwan and first disciple Behramji open their own toddy shop in Poona’s Kasba Peth area, populated chiefly by poor Hindu and Muslim fishermen and their families. Merwan works six hours a day doing the menial chores, often giving away revenues to the poor. In connection with the shop, Merwan makes many close friends who later become disciples—including Sadashiv (Patel) and Munshi Rahim, who have extraordinary visions of Merwan. Joined by others, they start respectfully calling him Merwan Seth because of his obvious spiritual charisma, wisdom and goodness. In a room next to his toddy shop, Merwan opens a temple to Upasani. Here—when not working at the shop, visiting Babajan, or pounding his head—he melodiously sings devotional songs (bhajans and arati-hymns for Hindus, qawwalis for Muslims) and expertly plays a dholak drum. His spiritual discourses inspire the growing throngs now visiting him. By 1919, his students include close friend, Gustadji (who had trained and fasted severely under Sai Baba and Upasani), Behramji, Sadashiv/Patel, Munshi Rahim, Khodu, Khodadad, Arjun Supekar and family, Merwan’s brothers Jamshed, Ardershir and Jal, aunt Dowla, uncle Faredoon, sister-in-law Khorshed, his childhood friend Baily (uncannily saved from suicide by Merwan), et al. Merwan is also preparing young future disciples—Naja, Pendu, Vishnu, and a new baby sister, Mani (sister Freni had died at 6).
1919: Merwan helps Upasani by preparing meals for 15,000 at a Sai Baba festival in Benares, then has a series of meetings with Tajuddin Baba in Nagpur. Upasani does more special work with Merwan in a jungle and the cave on Bhorgad Mountain near Gavalwadi where Upasani had fasted for a year in his youth.
1920: Back at Poona, Meher begins to seclude himself for long periods in a dark room; one night he covers himself with human excrement. Later in 1920, he fasts for 40 days and nights in the Bhorgad cave. Merwan calls some disciples to Nasik; they give him a new name: Meher Baba, “Compassionate Father.”
July, 1921: Now “three-quarters normal,” Baba begins a 6-month stay with Upasani. When the strange process of tuning his protégé’s universal consciousness is complete, Upasani salutes Meher as Sadguru and then as Avatar (Divine Incarnation). He tells many disciples of Meher’s glory, urging certain persons to serve Meher’s every command: “Whatever I had gotten from Sai Baba, I have handed over to Meher. If you want what Sai Baba gave me, go to Meher.” “I have made Meher perfect. From now on, hold on to him.” Word of this reaches Poona. Many brahman Hindu disciples of Upasani can’t accept the Zoroastrian Meher as an Avatar, and scorn him. (Later, Upasani’s disciple Godavari Mataji, head of the Kanya Kumaris, Upasani’s unique female priesthood, promotes Baba’s greatness and the Brahmins finally accept him.) Gulmai Irani, a disciple of Upasani, becomes Meher Baba’s disciple and spiritual mother; her sons Rustom and Adi K. and nephew Sarosh also become disciples.
(On Meher Baba’s life to this point, see Bhau Kalchuri, Meher Prabhu—Lord Meher: The Biography of Avatar Meher Baba, Volume One, 1894-1922 [Feram Workingboxwala, Tr., Lawrence Reiter, Ed.], POB 991, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29597: Manifestation, 1986, pp. 145-324. [The first 144 pages profile the Five Perfect Masters who influenced Baba, and also tell the story of Baba’s father and mother.] See Vol. 3, pp. 1394 and 1432, on Baba’s experience after the kiss from Babajan, as told by Baba to Gandhi. The 20-volume Lord Meher series is the most comprehensive biography on Meher Baba; but since even this account is not exhaustive, other works [see below, as noted] are useful as a complement.)
Mural painting by Diana Le Page based on real photographs, showing a young Merwan with his parents on left; and, on the right, proceeding from left to right: Hazrat Babajan, Meher Baba, Shirdi Sai Baba, Narayan Maharaj, with Upasani Baba immediately below Sai Baba, and, at bottom, Tajuddin Baba.
January 23, 1922: Formation of Baba’s mandali “Circle” of disciples. He dwells in a 10x6-foot hut built for him on Ferguson College Rd., Poona. Paranormal wonders continue to happen around Baba and he clearly knows the minds/hearts of his mandali.
May, 1922: Baba and 45 mandali (22 Hindus, 12 Muslims, 11 Zoroastrians) walk from Poona to Bombay, and move into Manzil-e-Meem in the northern Dadar area, Baba’s first ashram, an unfurnished house divided into 15 rooms. He drafts strict rules for disciples (see Lord Meher, Vol. 2; and Ramjoo Abdulla, Ramjoo’s Diaries: 1922-1929: A Personal Account of Meher Baba’s Early Work [Ira Deitrick, Ed.], Walnut Creek, CA: Sufism Reoriented, 1979). Baba has the mandali obey his every command, often punishing himself if they disobey. He begins to suffer strange ailments, claiming he is dying 28 deaths for the inner two mandali-circles (14 + 14). On Oct. 1, Baba tightens the schedule and gives his first spiritual instructions for followers: to perform japa, open-eyed recitation of one of the Divine names, Hindu, Muslim or Parsi. Arising to a cold bath at 4 a.m., retiring at 9 p.m., the mandali now do japa meditation; pray according to their religion; work various jobs during most days (producing and selling a book on Upasani is the primary task for many mandali); play marbles, checkers, cards, cricket, etc. with Baba; sing bhajans and qawwals; eat only vegetarian food; abstain from sex, intoxicants, and lies; cut off all contact with outside family/friends; and refrain from leaving the ashram, reading or writing, except with Baba’s permission. He teaches them with spiritual talks and ego-annihilating tests. On Oct. 7, he explains to Gustadji something of his method of working with disciples. On Thursday, Guru-day, Oct. 12, the 28-year-old Meher Baba is for the first time explicitly honored by his mandali as a Perfect Master.
Oct. 14, 1922: Baba relates that Upasani has urged Baba to visit Sakori so that Upasani may “ease my burdens and sufferings a little.” Baba visits for three days. A week later, Upasani tells some of Baba’s mandali, “God is getting more and more manifested in Merwan… Stick to him at all costs.” (Back in May, Upasani had stated: “I have given the key of whatever I have to Merwan… do as he instructs you.”) In March, 1923 Upasani enacts some characteristic spiritual theatre by abusing Baba’s mother and mandali and badmouthing Baba as “impersonating God.” At other times he is heard lovingly saying Baba’s name. Baba responds with his own “word bluffery.” Upasani sends disciples to bring Baba, in vain, back to stay with him at Sakori.
March 31, 1923: To break the mandalis’ attachments to familiar routines, Baba closes Manzil-e-Meem after 10 months of operation.
May, 3-6, 1923: After a month in Ahmednagar with a few mandali at Gulmai’s family residence (Khushru Quarters), Baba re-locates 6 miles south with his disciples to repair the dilapidated buildings of an old World War I military camp on desolate ground near the poor village of Arangaon (the land is owned by Kaikhushru and Gulmai Irani). This campsite later becomes his primary spiritual base, Meherabad. Thirteen disciples (Behramji, Gustadji, Adi K. and Rustom Irani, Aga Baidul, Babu Ubale [Cyclewala], Ramjoo, Pendu, Padri, Slamson, Khodadad [Nervous], Abdurrehman [Barsoap], and Baba’s brother Jal) accept Baba’s invitation to live with him in an even more austere, obedient manner. The other mandali live elsewhere, still connected to Baba spiritually in a life of purity and obedience. Some visit often, e.g., Dadachanji, Baily, Dr. Abdul Ghani, and Munshi.
Late May to Nov. 1, 1923: Baba takes eleven mandali on an austere tour to Agra, Karachi and Quetta, a British frontier hill station in Baluchistan, then travels by trains (third class, as usual) to Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He and a dozen mandali trudge 62 miles to Navsari. Baba has fasted for five months on liquids or nothing at all. After three months in Bombay, Baba and some core mandali walk 160 miles to Sakori. Upasani briefly blesses the mandali from his cage with characteristic insults, then promptly tells them to leave!
Nov. 22, 1923: Baba reduces to one week an expected two-month stay with mandali in Karachi, then wanders incognito for a month with Gustadji and Behramji, fasting severely on liquids, taken only once every 30 or 40 hours. Baba emerges to grant darshan [sight of a holy one] to hundreds in Kasba Peth in Poona at the end of 1923 for two days. At Bombay’s Irani Mansions #24, he draws mandali to him once again. In Feb. 1924, he takes eight disciples to Persia, but aborts the trip and returns to India when some fall seriously ill. Curiously, three months after the visit, perhaps as a result of Baba’s subtle-plane work, Persia’s old regime is deposed and a new Shah brings an era of greater harmony among the various religionists—Muslims, Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, Baha’is. Baba and a few mandali go to Nepal, but are refused entry, so Baba sends the mandali home and wanders alone for some days.
Late March, 1924: Baba and the core mandali settle at Meherabad in a schedule of hard labor. The work is not only back-breaking but also humiliating “coolie labor” for the mandali of prosperous families. A young Parsi woman, Mehera Irani, her mother Daulat, and two other women are cloistered in the old post office as Baba’s first resident female mandali. Daulat’s brother, Col. Merwan Sohrab Irani, the highest ranking Indian for the British Army in World War I, worries about his female relatives’ austerity; when they refuse to return to the lap of luxury, he begins a fierce, multi-year propaganda campaign against Baba.
April 14, 1924: Over a thousand souls, including many of Baba’s extant mandali and disciples, visit for the Ram-Navami Hindu festival. At a meeting of mandali, Baba rejects the idea of having Baba-lovers become a special society with identifiable garb.
May 7, 1924, Baba locks himself in the jhopdi, a small stone cabin, in virtual seclusion most of the month, save for a well-attended celebration of Upasani’s birthday on May 20. Baba subsists almost exclusively on liquids—tea, curry, curd, water.
June to Dec., 1924: Baba goes with some core male mandali to Bombay, Karachi and Quetta; then, very ill, he goes to Madras, Ooty, Calcutta, Hardwar, Rishikesh, Baroda, Goa, etc., bowing to 5,000 pilgrims and lepers and making long treks on foot.
Jan. 1925: They return to Meherabad. The mandali living with Baba soon number 40 persons. Hundreds enjoy Baba’s darshan-audiences. On Thursdays and festival days the crowds are huge. This is the first time Baba is openly available to the public.
March, 1925: A free hospital and dispensary open, followed by a hermitage for lepers and destitute, whom Baba especially cherishes. He also opens a co-ed primary school with free education, food and clothes for children of all creeds and all castes, mostly “untouchables.” Baba takes the lead in menial chores like cleaning the latrines and bathing the children and lepers.
July 10, 1925: A month after announcing it, Baba begins his famous Silence, never speaking or singing again the rest of his life. (This date is memorialized by Baba-lovers as a day of silence and fasting.) “All things that are real are given and received in silence.” Baba still communicates by writing on a slate and by unique hand gestures. A few days later Baba begins writing his mysterious Book, the only one ever written in his own hand, but never published (the manuscript’s present whereabouts are unknown). For the first eight months, Baba lives in the jhopdi room. In October, he shifts to the 4x7-foot “table cabin” under a neem tree by the road, which becomes his solitary seat, night and day. On Nov. 10, he has a special dhuni-fire lit, which within one hour uncannily brings 15 hours of rain for the drought-stricken region and its hapless farmers who had asked Baba earlier that evening for help. In later years, the dhuni is lit on the 12th of each month at 6 p.m., and in 1955 Baba institutes an ongoing ceremony in which disciples throw sandalwood sticks into the dhuni, surrendering all desires to God.
Dec., 1925: Sai Durbar hall, 66x96 feet in size, is built near the post office to accommodate the big crowds coming for darshans.
Jan. 11, 1926: Baba composes the Bujave Nar Gujarati arati hymn to replace a Marathi arati that devotees sing to him; they do not begin to sing it on a daily basis until July 10, 1928, the third anniversary of Baba’s silence.
Feb. 25, 1926: On his 32nd birthday, some 40,000 people joyously honor Baba and receive his darshan all day and night and most of the next day. A book is released by one of the ashram schoolteachers, Goma Ganesh, The Company of Saints, the first book about Baba in Marathi, the local language of Maharashtra state where Meherabad, Poona and Bombay are located.
Feb. 27: Baba’s brother Jamshed dies of a heart attack at age 33, having the night before told his kin, “Never forget that Baba is God.” Baba gives a profound talk on death. Around 500 people now live at Meherabad, with a few dozen core mandali living austerely under Baba’s tutelage in the context of hard work at the school and hospital, meditation, fasting, singing, and engaging in games, sports, jokes and stories with Baba, whose tender compassion and gracious humor uplift their spirits. (Of the games and sports, Baba says that these help ground his mind and also allow him to do spiritual work through the concentrated energies of the players.) In March, Baba moves into a box-like cabin inside Sai Durbar hall. In May he re-locates for two months to live in the “water tank room” on Meherabad Hill before returning to the Sai Durbar cabin. In June, the notorious dacoit (robber-murderer) Satya Mang comes with his gang incognito for Baba’s darshan. Though the police are terrified of them, Baba fearlessly insults Satya Mang as a womanly coward for not working an honest job. Satya Mang sincerely converts to become Baba’s devotee. Baba bi-locates and stops him from stealing the one time he is subsequently tempted to do so.
Oct., 1926: Baba suddenly orders Meherabad closed; mandali dismantle or raze most buildings and leave with him for Lonavla in late November. Baba insures that all poor persons and lepers in the hermitage, students, and paid hospital staff and schoolteachers are re-located elsewhere, not left homeless. After a month, Baba returns with his mandali to rebuild Meherabad ashram and the boys’ school! He reinstates Thursday public darshans. He dwells either in the jhopdi or in the table cabin.
Jan., 1927: Baba ceases any further writing, and soon starts using an alphabet board (designed by a disciple) to communicate.
May, 1927: Baba opens near Arangaon the Meher Ashram day-school for boys to complement Hazrat Babajan High School for boys, then shifts them to Meherabad Hill. By October, 170 boys are enrolled, including 14 from Persia. Baba looks after them and also the 500 people living at Meherabad. (Behramji is the Meherabad manager; Baba supervises many details.) The women mandali, living in an enclosed compound on the hill, work long hours cooking food for the adults and children. (Some of them also run a small school for girls.) Baba has been living on the hill in a spartan 4x6-feet hut, but from Dec. 20 until Feb. 26, 1928, he confines himself within the strange Khadda, a room with a deep crypt (it would 42 years later serve as his tomb). He begins giving nightly talks from the Khadda to the assembled boys and a few mandali. His dazzling grace triggers on Jan. 1 a “love outburst,” sending many boys into profoundly blissful, luminous raptures and devout weeping. Abdulla Pakrawan (Chota Baba, “Junior Baba”) goes into 6th-plane samadhi for four days. Agha Ali, Esfandiar Vesali, Ali Akbar (Aloba), Rajaram, et al. also undergo Divine raptures. (See Ramjoo, Sobs and Throbs, included in Ramjoo’s Diaries, 1976 edition with supplements; also, Vol. 3 of Lord Meher). Baba’s seclusion-work in the Khadda and hut promotes not only the boys’ spirituality but also that of five male mandali restricted to nearby temporary huts (Sadhak Ashram) for 6 months of solitary meditation. As with the boys, a few of these men also have raptures of inner divine light, involuntary weeping and shouting Baba’s name. For the good of the men and boys, Baba endures from Nov. 10 to April 25 one of his longest fasts from solid food, taking a pint of coffee or milk once daily, toward the end only weak tea and water for 28 days. On Jan. 26, Baba selects 20 boys to form the Prem (Love) Ashram for advanced retreat and meditation. Some are allowed to stay for periods with Baba while he dwells in the crypt.
March, 1928: Baba sends Rustom Irani to the U.K. to bring some boys back to the schools for spiritual education. The government won’t let them emigrate, but Rustom attracts Meredith Starr, his wife Margaret and her sister to visit Baba in mid-1928.
April 1: Hazrat Babajan leaves Poona for the first time in decades to “go to my child’s place” at Meherabad. From across the railroad tracks, Baba directs his mandali and students to have her darshan, while she speaks sweetly, enigmatically to them. Baba later tells of her greatness and states: “Today is the most eventful and significant day of my life.” The next day he takes disciples to Babajan for darshan, while himself again standing some distance from her, across the river. Who can fathom their acts?
May 16: Baba miraculously stops a car with his mandali from rolling off a cliff to destruction.
June 3: Baba has Meherabad’s 500 residents shifted for 5 months to Toka, 45 miles from Ahmednagar toward Aurangabad, in a quiet forest setting. Here he chiefly focuses on the Prem Ashram boys’ spiritual welfare and spends much time fasting in seclusion. In July, Meredith Starr, his wife and sister-in-law come from the U.K. to live for 6 months under Baba’s directions as his first western disciples. They later help bring Baba to Europe, though Meredith’s excessive egotism later distances him from Baba. Russian sadhu Christian Leik, in India since 1910 with the Ramakrishna movement, hears of Baba from Starr and comes in mid-October for training in silence and inner guidance. Baba directs Leik to continue traveling in India as an itinerant monk, promising to awaken Leik to the Divine Presence. Leik realizes the Self and spreads word of Baba to many as a missionary, especially in the Madras area. Illness takes him back to Meherabad a year later in Oct. 1929, where he soon dies at 59.
Late Nov., 1928: The Toka ashram is dismantled. Most boys are sent home and most mandali are sent elsewhere (to Meherabad, Nasik, Poona, etc.). Baba returns to the Meherabad Hill crypt, working with a core of Prem Ashram boys for five months.
Jan., 1929: Baba and 18 mandali go on a 12-day tour to a few cities in the region, primarily on foot. First issue appears of The Meher Message, a journal on Baba that includes extracts from his writings and dictations. In articles dictated for Volumes 2 & 3 (1930-1), Baba clarifies the sublime spiritual stages of Fana and Baqa (Sufi terms for “annihilation” and “remaining” in God) and Kutubiat/Qutbiat, full God-realization. K.J. Dastur, the journal editor, later incurs Baba’s criticism for involvement in politics. He denounces Baba as a charlatan, yet Baba doesn’t mind the criticism and harbors no ill will toward him. In 1928, Dastur had been one of the several mandali and boys who experienced deep devotional raptures contemplating Baba’s reality.
Feb. 21, 1929: Baba orders his mandali to stop all darshans with outsiders-newcomers. Baba has five mandali begin writing books and pamphlets about him in different languages: English, Persian, Urdu, Marathi.
May and July 10-Aug. 28: Baba and select mandali go on two bus tours, the first as far north as Hardwar and Rishikesh, the second all the way to Kashmir’s Srinagar and Harvan, where he stays secluded in a hut at 6,000 feet. “Everywhere he went his presence created a sensation.” Baba and mandali refuse shelter on the return trip, staying in the open by streams and in woods.
Sep. 19: Baba journeys with 18 disciples by steamship to Persia, traveling third class on the open deck, surrounded by crowds. From Mohammerah they go north, then east to Qom, Isfahan and other cities. The trip is grueling due to dismal roads, fierce cold, and general lack of vegetarian food (they often subsist on bread or cucumbers). Baba, suffering diverse ailments, travels largely incognito, yet many people realize his glory; in Yezd he is venerated by large throngs of Muslims, Parsees and Baha’is. His main task is to “purify the atmosphere.” After an intrepid bus-trip over the desert to Duzdab (Zahidan), he gets a visa to return to British India (“miraculously,” says the Consulate, since Baba will no longer sign his name to any documents).
Nov. 19: Baba stays for ten weeks with mandali at Gyas Manzil, a new headquarters in Nasik (100 miles NW of Ahmednagar), often residing here over the next few years. Most of the male mandali with Baba work in Rustom’s auto garage. Nearby live women mandali Mehera (his platonic companion and chief female disciple), Daulat, Naja, Khorshed, Soona, Valu and Gulmai.
March 2, 1930: Baba grants mass darshan at Madras on his first South India visit, then goes to Mysore, Nilgiri Hills, Bijapur, Sholapur. Journeying toward Mangalore, Baba saves mandalis’ lives by miraculously keeping their bus from falling off a cliff.
May 15, 1930: Baba enters a cave dug for him near Panchgani at 5,000 feet in the mountains overlooking Tiger Valley, 150 miles south of Meherabad, and fasts for two weeks, with a dozen mandali nearby. His fasts in seclusion typify his more intense periods of universal work to uplift humanity. A 2-month trip to Kashmir is followed by time at Nasik with mandali and devotees, and then Lonavla, where he grants darshans to crowds day after day. On Nov. 15 Baba enters the new Panchavati cave dug by mandali on the southeast side of Meherabad Hill for intense seclusion. It is broken a week later by interviews with headstrong Britisher Paul Brunton (H. Raphael Hirsch). Brunton also visits Baba at Nasik in Feb. 1931, but Baba is curt with him, refusing to grant Brunton the powers earlier promised by Baba to him, wanting instead to turn him into a critic. Sure enough, in 1934 his book appears in England, A Search in Secret India, with two scornful chapters on Baba—an example of how Baba triggers strong reactions, pro and con. Brunton, affirming Baba’s wisdom, love, amiable goodness and asceticism, blasts Baba’s “extreme self-centeredness,” “deification of self,” “colossal delusions about his own greatness” (“Meher suffers from no modesty.... he loves to dramatize himself. He seems to live more for an audience than for himself”), “grandiose schemes of world reformation,” “weak character,” “distasteful methods,” failed prophecies, exaggerated healing powers, and abuse of disciples. “Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and others appoint a press agent. Meher seems to favour the latter course.” But by the time Brunton’s book appears, hundreds of Europeans and Americans are already staunch devotees, smitten with love for Baba.
June, 1931: With five mandali, Baba goes again to Persia, this time remaining incognito for the entire sojourn, doing special work at the great mosque at Meshed at night, and roaming the streets by day. On Sept. 1, he sails with Rustom, Chanji and Ali from Karachi for Europe. Mahatma Gandhi, en route to the Round Table Conference in London on the same steamship, meets three times privately with Baba for hours, deeply impressed, wanting to spend more time with Baba. Baba gives Gandhi spiritual and political counsel and promises greater help after Gandhi abandons politics. (In London on Oct. 2, Gandhi’s 62nd birthday, Baba has a long talk with him before a large assembly; Gandhi accords Baba great respect. Baba meets Gandhi again, for the last time, on Jan. 3, 1932, at Mani Bhawan, Gandhi’s India residence. Gandhi promises that when India has independence, he will come stay with Baba. The two exchange messages through their disciples until shortly before Gandhi’s assassination in 1948.)
Sept. 1931: In England, Baba meets with the press, including Charles Purdom, who writes The Perfect Master (1937), an account of Baba’s life up to 1933 (later expanded into The God-Man, 1964). After nearly three weeks of contacting new disciples, Baba travels to Constantinople, Milan and Genoa, then sails to New York for a month at a studio at Harmon-on-the-Hudson. On this first western tour, Baba attracts hundreds of disciples, including a few dozen close disciples with his love, charisma, teachings, and playful zest, meeting with them in group darshans and private interviews. (On the British visit and subsequent life with Meher Baba, see Kitty Davy [allowed to stay near Baba with the women mandali from 1937 to 1952], Love Alone Prevails: A Story of Life with Meher Baba, Myrtle Beach, SC: Sheriar Press, 1981; Margaret Craske, The Dance of Love: My Life with Meher Baba, Sheriar, 1980. On the New York trip and later visits, see Baba’s American host, Jean Adriel [Schloss], Avatar: The Life Story of Avatar Meher Baba, Berkeley, CA: JFK Univ. Press ed., 1971 [originally publ. in 1947].).
Sept. 21, 1931: While Baba tours the West, Hazrat Babajan drops the body, reported by the newspapers to be 125 years old.
1932: Baba again visits England. He is interviewed by editor James Douglas for his Sunday Express, and filmed in a newsreel. Baba’s father, Sheriar, dies on April 30 (Baba clairvoyantly knows it, signaling mandali Adi K. Irani of the event). Baba comes to New York, Chicago and then Hollywood, feted by celebrities. He throws them off by not returning for the planned events on his sojourn back from Shanghai and Nanking in China. This first world tour (April to August, 1932) includes visits to Cairo, Venice and Assisi, where Baba secludes himself for 20 hours of work in a cave associated with St. Francis, “planning the spiritual history of the world for the next 2,000 years.” Year’s end sees Baba in Milan, Paris, London, Egypt and Sri Lanka.
1931 to 1937: Baba’s world travel period, wherein he visits the West ten times. In India between trips, he works with disciples in Nasik and Meherabad, often stays in seclusion in a new wooden hut on Meherabad Hill, and travels in India.
April, 1933: Ten Western disciples (nine women, one man [Quentin Tod]) are called to India to join Baba on a 6-month tour, their stay cut to a 3-week tour of north India. In July 1933 he works with select European and American disciples in Portofino then Spain in October. Typical for Baba, he often sits amidst crowds at street corners, cinemas and theatres to do special work transforming people’s subconscious minds. In mid-1935, Baba stays in a small temple on Mt. Abu for six weeks. Then, in 1936, up to 20 westerners stay three months at a special Nasik ashram, then at Meherabad for ten weeks before Baba sends them home. Up to 30 women disciples of East and West journey with Baba through India on the demanding Blue Bus tours from Dec. 1938 to the end of 1941 in a terribly overloaded bus built by Sarosh Irani to seat just 16 passengers. The austere tours and stays for longer durations in places like Ajmer, Bangalore and Ceylon feature much testing of the women by Baba and include visits to nature spots, historic sites, and saints’ shrines. Baba also focuses on his special work for masts, God-intoxicated souls, ferreted out by male mandali roaming India in search of the masts. (See Kitty Davy, Love Alone Prevails, pp. 249-99, Elizabeth Patterson (the primary blue bus driver), “Spiritual Journey with a Modern Guru, Parts 1-4,” Treasures from the Meher Baba Journals [Jane Haynes, Ed.], Sheriar, 1980, pp. 81-119). Before and between these tours, Kitty, Elizabeth, Princess Norina Matchabelli, Rano Gayley, Nadine Tolstoy, Irene Billo and Margaret Craske live on Meherabad Hill inside a walled compound with Baba’s cloistered Indian women mandali: Mehera, Mani, Naja, Khorshed, Mansari and elders Masi, Valu and Gulmai, observing various regimens of silence, fasting and meditation. In June, 1941, Elizabeth, Norina and Nadine are sent to the USA to find a site for a new Baba center. Nadine dies in a few years; Elizabeth and Norina are called to India for a time in 1947. From 1942 until Baba’s 1952 visit to his new USA center, he has little contact with westerners save for Dr. William Donkin and a few close women disciples staying for various periods in India.
1936-49: Baba, in addition to his ongoing work with mandali and the poor, and occasional public darshans, focuses on his unique work giving a spiritual boost to the masts, the “overpowered,” God-intoxicated souls appearing as madmen. Bereft of guidance from a master, they have gone beyond all social conventions and are stuck in unusual spiritual states short of full Divine realization. Baba explains that the masts have been imbalanced by their overwhelming love for God, by a sudden Divine epiphany, or by misuse of paranormal powers. He once explained: “Mind stopped, is God. Mind working, is man. Mind slowed down, is mast. Mind working fast, is mad.” In 1936 Baba starts the Rahuri ashram (25 miles north of Ahmednagar) for truly insane persons and for the spiritual masts, serving them from 4 a.m. to midnight. The masts include Mohammed (who, of all masts, enjoys the longest and closest contact with Baba), Arjun, Dagdu Bua, Lal Saheb, Punjia, et al. The ashram is shifted to Meherabad in 1937 and to Bangalore in 1939-40. Seven temporary mast ashrams are started by Baba and mandali in various parts of India over the years. From 1937 to 1949, during World War II and India’s Independence and Partition, Baba and select disciples endure grueling mast-tours through India to find masts and permit Baba to work with them in his special way. In some cases masts are brought to him, usually with great difficulty, given their condition; Baba mainly goes to them, traveling incognito to avoid crowds and media, often fasting. Many times Baba seems to find the masts through paranormal means. Baba and mandali selected for this work, chiefly Baidul, Kaka, and Eruch Jessawalla (with Vishnu looking after the luggage and Chhagan doing the cooking), travel 80,000 miles to contact 20,000 masts, most of them “ordinary,” but many highly advanced, like Karim Baba, Chatti Baba and Chacha. Baba feeds, bathes and clothes the masts, cleans their latrines, gives them a coin to “facilitate contact,” and mysteriously works with them in private to help them reach the next spiritual stage. He asks his mandali to honor the masts’ every wish. The majority of masts become noticeably more balanced. Most of the masts clearly recognize Baba’s Divinity. His ministry on behalf of the masts is well described by a close British disciple, Dr. William Donkin, in The Wayfarers (1948; published with two supplements by Sufism Reoriented in 1969). Baba’s introduction to this book distinguishes ordinary and divine madness, and tells how he helps masts and how they, in turn, help his work as potent “inner plane agents” for “sending spiritual help to different parts of the world.” Baba worked with masts before 1936 (e.g., Mastan was the first mast to come to Baba, in 1925 at Meherabad) and Baba continues working with masts after 1949, but these 13 years feature a special focus on masts. The work goes on “month after month, year after year, with periods of recuperation at Meherabad [or, after 1944, at Meherazad], and intervals of more or less prolonged fast and seclusion for Baba” (Purdom).
1938-1942: Baba gives discourses to his mandali for issues of the Meher Baba Journal during these years (edited / published in India by Elizabeth Patterson), on the psychology of the spiritual path and the need for a Perfect Master’s grace. The discourses are published in 5 volumes in the mid-1940s as Discourses by Meher Baba, later revised by Baba and published in 3 volumes in 1967, subsequently issued as a single volume. The Discourses are the most important collection of teachings for disciples.
Oct. 17, 1941: Baba and Upasani Maharaj meet in a secluded hut at Dahigaon, a village in Ahmednagar Dt., for the first time in 19 years, and for the very last time. Upasani expires on Dec. 24. In May, 1940, Baba had held a 7-day birthday festival in Upasani’s honor, the longest ever of the many birthday celebrations held by Baba and mandali over the years.
Dec. 31, 1941: Baba enters the vast multitude of millions at the Kumbha Mela in Allahabad and does special work by bowing to touch the feet of 7,000 sadhus in one day. In February 1948, at another gigantic Kumbha Mela in Allahabad, he bows to the feet of 4,000 sadhus in one morning. Throughout Baba’s life, he bowed in worship to countless poor persons, masts and sadhus. The bowing causes later damage to some vertebrae and muscles that in turn compress his spine, causing him agony.
Feb. 25, 1943: Baba’s mother Shireen dies on her son’s 49th birthday. In March 1943 Baba re-enters public life for a time, visiting Sholapur, Barsi, and Akkalkot, granting public darshans, with as many as 50,000 people thronging to him for blessings.
1944-9: Between mast-tours, Baba and a few men and women mandali begin to spend more time at a 12 acre plot, 9 miles north of Ahmednagar, near the Pimpalgaon reservoir, a more reliable water source. From 1952 until his passing, Baba mainly stays at this site, named Meherazad. (Some mandali still dwell at Meherabad, 15 miles away. Though severely afflicted with recurrent water shortages, Meherabad continues to host some occasional large public darshans. Baba last visits it in 1962.)
June 22 to July 31, 1949: The Great Seclusion period, mainly spent by Baba in the retired Blue Bus mounted at Meherazad.
Aug. 1, 1949: Baba prepares his mandali with solemn prophecies for a great change: “the New Life.” On Oct. 16, he sets out incognito with 4 secluded women (Mehera, Mani, Meheru and Dr. Goher) and 16 men (Gustadji, Adi K., Dr. Ghani, Dr. Nilu Godse, Pendu, Sadashiv/Patel, Aga Baidul, Vishnu Deorukkhar, Kaka Baria, Anna Jakal, Murli Kale, Babadas Dharmare, Ali Akbar, Eruch Jessawalla, Dr. William Donkin, and Daulat Singh, who soon leaves due to family reasons) for two months of preliminary New Life training, including a stay at Benares. They have completely severed ties to Meherabad, Meherazad, and to the other mandali—many of whom believe they will never see Baba again! Most possessions have been sold for funds to support Baba’s many disciples. The New Life begins in full on Dec. 12 as the band sets out from Sarnath with caravan animals journeying to north India in the dead of winter, attracting crowds of onlookers. The New Life takes Baba and mandali to Dehra Dun, where he splits the group into subgroups. (Four men drop out to live a version of the New Life at home, in the same manner as those many mandali not originally chosen by Baba for the New Life.) Subsequently, Baba and a few others travel to Haridwar, Motichur, Rishikesh, east to Calcutta, then south to Gudur and Hyderabad. The New Life entails rigorous austerities—long foot-journeys, begging alms, staying in the open, exposure to heat/cold, hard inner and outer work, little sleep or food—and strict testing for the mandali in the spirit of Baba’s well-known saying, “Don’t worry, be happy!” Baba declares that, during this period, he has ceased to be the spiritual Master in order to be fully human, utterly reliant on God. (See Vol. X of Lord Meher; also, Tales from the New Life with Meher Baba, Narrated by Eruch, Mehera, Mani, and Meheru [D.E. Stevens, et al., Ed.], Berkeley: Beguine Library, 1976; Bal Natu, Glimpses of the God-Man, Meher Baba, Vol. II [1949-52], Bombay: Meher House, 1979.)
Oct. 1951: In the last, manonash (mind-death) phase of the New Life, a remnant of the traveling troupe (Eruch, Gustadji, Baidul, Pendu, and Donkin) stays near Baba as he spends weeks in a hill-cave near Hyderabad, then in two small cabins atop Seclusion Hill, overlooking Meherazad. The cabins are then shifted to Meherazad in mid-December. Baba emerges on Feb. 1, 1952. The next phase in his mission ensues, the Free Life: mingling more publicly, he openly proclaims himself as Avatar/God-Man.
April 20, 1952: After not having visited the West for 15 years, Baba, looking tired and haggard from the New Life, travels with eleven mandali to his Meher Spiritual Center, on 500 acres in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, established by Elizabeth Patterson and Norina Matchabelli. It becomes the main Western pilgrim site for Baba-lovers. He visits here again in 1956 and 1958.
May, 24, 1952: Outside Prague, Oklahoma, en route to California, a car driving in the wrong lane collides head-on with the car containing Baba, Mehera, Mani, Meheru and Elizabeth; all but Mani are injured. Baba’s left leg, arm and nose are broken.
July 1952: Still recuperating, Baba stays in Hartsdale, N.Y., granting interviews in N.Y. City and helping Ivy Oneita Duce charter the Sufism Reoriented group. Murshida Duce, primary editor (with Don Stevens) of Baba’s key books (Discourses, God Speaks, Beams and Life at Its Best), had succeeded Rabia Ada Martin as head of the Sufi Order founded by Indian Chisti Sufi saint Hazrat Inayat Khan, the first Sufi teacher to come and teach in the West, from 1910 onward until his death in 1927.
Nov. 15, 1952: Baba grants darshan to 500 people in Bombay. Over the next ten weeks, still frail, he travels to three dozen towns and remote hamlets, granting darshan. These mass darshans are the first since before his mast-tours and New Life. Prior to each darshan, he washes the feet of select poor persons, saying the poor help share his burden of uplifting all souls.
Feb. 16, 1953: Baba comes to Dehra Dun and spends the rest of the year in seclusion as part of his Fiery Free Life. Baba composes “The Master’s Prayer” for his disciples to recite during a period of intense universal work from Aug. 13 to Sept. 2.
Sep. 7, 1953: Baba issues his “Highest of the High” discourse, with perhaps the most explicit revelation yet given on his Divinity.
1953: First issue of quarterly, then biannual, journal, The Awakener, is released, edited by Filis Frederick, still in circulation.
Jan.-Feb. 1954: Baba grants mass darshans in Andhra Pradesh state in southeast India, and to nearly 150,000 people in Madras (now Chennai).
Sep. 10-31, 1954: Male disciples called by Baba visit for nearly three weeks of darshans and private interviews; 17 Westerners come (see Purdom, The God-Man, pp. 219-76 on the event and Baba’s messages). At a mass darshan in Ahmednagar on Sep. 12, Baba issues “Baba’s Call” discourse. On Sep. 30 he makes his Final Declaration, saying he will drop his body by April 1955. Throughout his life Baba made these unfulfilled prophecies to have his disciples drop all attachments and expectations.
Oct. 7, 1954: Baba gives up the alphabet board he had used since 1927 and resorts to unique hand-gestures, translated by his right-hand men and longtime “voices,” Adi K. Irani and Eruch Jessawalla, who had known Baba since they were young boys.
Jan. 9, 1955: Baba ends a 40-day fast, then travels, giving darshans to multitudes in India.
Nov.-Dec. 1955: At Meherabad, Baba holds four one-week sahvas retreat programs with a few hundred devotees at each event. One of these sahvas programs is well-described by Don Stevens in Listen, Humanity, Sufism Reoriented, 1957.
Jan. 26, 1956: Baba grants an 8-day darshan at Sakori at the request of Godavari Mata (1914-90), Upasani Maharaj’s chief woman disciple and head of his unique order of female priests. Baba gives more darshans elsewhere.
July 1956: Baba flies to Europe (Switzerland, Paris, London), then to New York, Myrtle Beach, and California, to meet old and new disciples. He makes his first visit to Australia to christen the Avatar’s Abode retreat site near Brisbane.
Sep., 1956: God Speaks, Baba’s book of cosmology and metaphysics, is issued, a basic text in addition to Discourses, etc., though most spiritual aspirants find the kind of instruction in the Discourses to be much more applicable.
Dec. 2, 1956: A car in which Baba is riding inexplicably loses control and crashes in Satara, India; Baba’s right hip is badly damaged and he suffers facial injuries. After this, he is never again very active physically. Dr. Nilkanth Godse (Nilu), a longtime mandali, dies in the accident. It is considered significant that Baba’s first car accident involved injuries to the left side of his body while traveling with women mandali; this second accident impacts his right side, in a car filled with male mandali.
1958: Baba holds sahvas programs for Indians at Meherabad, then for Westerners at Myrtle Beach and Avatar’s Abode. In July, at Meherabad, Baba issues his famous “Universal Message” (“I have come not to teach but to awaken…”)
1959: Institution of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust at the Khushru Quarters in Ahmednagar, the public charitable trust that provides for Baba’s mandali and for others that he named as beneficiaries; the trust also administers various charitable projects.
1960s: Baba spends most of the decade secluded at Meherazad (usually with a private stay at Guruprasad on Poona’s outskirts from late March to mid-June), intensifying his work, inwardly giving a spiritual push to humanity. This work further undermines his health. Over time allowing fewer visitors, Baba nevertheless keeps up a global correspondence. He resides in a large room in a Meherazad bungalow (his nightly residence since 1956). He sees his male mandali daily in Mandali Hall, eats with the women, and takes long periods of seclusion each morning, afternoon, and night. Baba’s sister Mani writes copious letters to Baba-lovers worldwide on Baba’s activities and teachings during this period. (See Eighty-two Family Letters to the Western Family of Lovers and Followers of Meher Baba [from 1956 to 1969], NY: Society for Avatar Meher Baba, rev. ed., 1969.)
June 5, 1960: In the midst of a year of seclusion, Baba gives darshan to 10,000 at his Guruprasad site. Before leaving Poona, he places his head on the feet of 160 poor people; he then does the same with 150 poor, mostly lepers, at Ahmednagar, and then again does the same on two days in September with 320 more poor persons. From Oct. to Dec., he suffers herpes zoster on the right side of the tongue, palate, face, and right ear, no doubt from contacting so many feet. The painful neuralgia exhausts him.
March, 1961: For two weeks, Baba grants one hour each afternoon for people to see him just once during his stay at Guruprasad. Several westerners make the journey to see Baba for this single hour of public darshan.
Nov. 1962: After two years spent mainly in seclusion, Baba hosts an East-West Gathering at Guruprasad; 137 disciples from the USA, Europe and Australia and 5,000 from India and Persia heed his call to attend the darshans, discourses, and interviews.
May 1965, Suffering from bone and muscle degeneration in the spinal cervical area (from all the bowing over the years), suffering greater than the mandali have ever seen, Baba nevertheless holds a week-long mass darshan / sahvas at Guruprasad, his last major appearance (see the film footage of this event, narrated by Jane Haynes, in the movie The Ancient One). A sahvas for westerners in Dec. is cancelled, but Baba allows them to spread his teachings. His clear-cut warnings to the West against mind-altering drugs like LSD, which can’t bring God-realization, amplify his voice as a spiritual authority. He continues, as always, to ask disciples to recite his name, say special prayers, observe days of silence and fasting, and follow other directives.
Feb., 1966: Glow International, a quarterly journal on Baba, edited by Naosherwan Anzar, appears (see belovedarchives.org).
Jan. 31, 1968: Exactly one year before passing, Baba introduces Mehera to his male mandali at Meherazad in a symbolic way; she has been secluded with the women for 44 years. Most of the men have never seen her; almost none have ever talked to her.
July 30, 1968: Baba announces “My work is done. It is completed 100% to my satisfaction.” In Oct. he declares he will break his seclusion from April 10 to June 10, 1969, and receive lovers at a mass darshan. His health clearly failing, he nevertheless tells the mandali that all will be fine. Doctors opine that, with his high blood urea, he should be in a coma, but he remains alert and humorous. In Jan., Baba’s condition worsens, but he won’t go to Poona for treatment, saying his condition has no medical basis and is due to strain from his universal work. Until Jan. 13, 1969, Baba allows visits with mandali at least once a day, despite his infirmity. The pain grows even worse toward month’s end, with terrible spasms. Yet Baba remains aware and cheerful.
Jan. 31, 1969: On this day, Baba’s body suffers one last spasm and expires at 12:15 p.m. It is brought from Meherazad up to Meherabad Hill and laid in the open crypt at the tomb shrine or samadhi in which Baba spent so much time in 1927-8. With murals painted by Swiss artist Helen Dahm in 1937 adorning the inner shrine, the outside base of the dome is inscribed with Baba’s motto: Mastery in Servitude. Baba’s body stays miraculously incorrupt all seven days it is left on view for the thousands of lovers coming for a final darshan of their Beloved’s physical form. It is finally buried on Feb. 7, Baba’s 76th birthday by the Zoroastrian calendar. In an amazing synchronicity, reminiscent of all the times it had rained around Baba at auspicious times throughout his life, during the same seven days that his incorrupt form is on view, Mecca’s Ka`aba, Islam’s holiest shrine, is deluged with rain and submerged in floodwaters, with no one able to approach the Ka`aba. This is not the first time that the Ka`aba had flooded (e.g., see photos on the Internet of the 1941 flood), but to this day the 1969 floods are considered the most severe in known Muslim history.
April 10 to June 10, 1969: This was to have been the time, arranged by Baba in 1968, for another darshan for disciples. Hundreds from East and West visit Meherabad for the “Great Darshan” and strongly feel Baba’s presence, recalling his words from the 1962 East-West Gathering: “When I drop this body, I will be closer to you than I am now as I sit here with you.”
Since then: Baba’s samadhi atop the hill across from Meherabad becomes a powerful sanctuary for his ongoing Reality. The Jan. 31 anniversary of Baba’s physical passing is celebrated every year by some 12,000 souls at Meherabad as Amartithi, “deathless day.” Many pilgrims, over a thousand in recent years, also visit on Silence Day, July 10. Over the years, Baba’s mandali extend their love and share their stories with all Baba-lovers drawn to hear of the Beloved. These include especially the late Adi K. Irani (1903-80), Eruch (1916-2001), Mehera (1907-89) and Mani (1918-96). Some of the other dear mandali survived into the early 21st century such as Dr. Goher Irani (d. 2004) and her sister Katie (d.2009), Arnavaz Dadachanji (1919-2009), and Meheru (d. 2012). By 2012, a frail Bhau Kalchuri was the only one of Baba’s mandali still alive. In the first decade of the 21st century a new Meher Pilgrim Retreat opens at upper Meherabad, along with Manzil-e-Meher (House of Meher), an Archives-Research building for the safekeeping of films, photos, personal articles and documents associated with Baba. (For instance, a 39-page document written by Baba himself, circa 1925, explaining facets of spirituality, was published, with a reproduction of his script, as the book, In God’s Hand: Explanations of Spirituality in Meher Baba’s Own Hand.)
Meher Baba's samadhi tomb-shrine on hill across from Meherabad. The marble slab reads:
Eternal Beloved - Avatar Meher Baba - February 25, 1894 (to) January 31, 1969 - "I have come not to teach but to awaken."
About the murals: famous Swiss artist Helen Dahm in 1938 painted the uneven inner stone walls and dome. The painting of Baba is by American artist Charlie Morton. Photo by the author in 1996.
Part 2. Meher Baba: A Candid View of His Personality and His Methods of Working with Disciples
© Copyright 2002 by Timothy Conway, Ph.D.
Meher Baba possessed an extremely charismatic persona, with unusually expressive eyes and hands. While he traveled incognito throughout India, passersby were often riveted to Baba, ignoring others in the vicinity, including some of Baba’s quite handsome and charismatic mandali disciples. Britisher Delia De Leon observed after her week with Baba in London in 1931: “He alone seemed real—the Perfect Human Being. Compared to him everyone seemed like a shadow.” (Jean Adriel, Avatar: The Life Story of Avatar Meher Baba, Berkeley, CA: JFK Univ. Press ed., 1971, p. 135). Early disciple Ramjoo Abdulla stated in January 1922: “I could not help being deeply impressed with something supernatural about Merwanseth’s personality and movements” (Ramjoo’s Diaries: 1922-1929: A Personal Account of Meher Baba’s Early Work [Ira Deitrick, Ed.], Walnut Creek, CA: Sufism Reoriented, 1979). Jean Adriel described Baba’s “dark, luminous eyes” when meeting him during his first visit to New York in 1931: “bottomless pools of infinite love and tenderness.... His eyes were filled with tears which overflowed from a heart that knows only eternal love” (Avatar, pp. 14-16). Dr. William Donkin, a very close western disciple, wrote of Baba’s “looking radiantly noble... a fine sight.... His phenomenal strength of character and ... mysterious spiritual beauty were astonishing ... Baba’s face in repose has a fusion of spiritual bliss and serenity and yet such sadness, which gives it grandeur.” (Charles Purdom, The God-Man, Crescent Beach, SC: Sheriar Press, 1964, p. 144) Before he adopted silence on July 10, 1925, Baba’s voice, too, had been very attractive, with a deep, beautiful resonance. He used to sing Sufi qawwal and Hindu bhajan songs in a melodious, sweet voice, often while expertly playing a drum, to Adi K. Irani’s sitar accompaniment. Multi-lingual and cosmopolitan from his education, wide travels and many encounters with people of all walks of life, Baba was “a ready and witty conversationalist and a good story-teller.” His moods were fluid, quickly changing to meet different circumstances and different disciples’ inner states. (The God-Man, p. 33)
Physically, Baba was of medium height (he said 5’6”; a 1933 passport said 5’8”), and lean in build. (After his car accidents in 1952 and 1956, his body grew heavier due to inactivity.) He walked with a particularly long stride for someone his height. Baba possessed uncanny stamina, enabling him to undergo grueling walking tours over diverse terrain (leaving others hard-pressed to keep up with him) and endure the long regimens of bowing to people, working with masts, and interacting with multitudes of people in mass darshan-gatherings. He was also quite energetic in the cricket matches and other sports activities in which he participated with his mandali, and he often seemed to possess far more strength than taller, bulkier men.
Baba’s stamina and strength are quite remarkable, even miraculous, given that he was frequently ill and spent considerable portions of most years fasting, often on nothing more than water and weak tea for weeks or months at a time. For consecutive weeks he also fasted for intervals of 24 up to 40 hours without any food or liquids at all. When he ate, even during the non-fasting periods, Baba usually ate little, some plain rice, dal/legumes and curds—seemingly not enough to sustain normal life. He restricted his intake to vegetarian foods, as did most of his mandali, except for a few occasions on his later tours to the West, when the doctors insisted he eat a little fish and chicken to help produce bone marrow after his car accident. (In the early Meherabad years, he induced most villagers at Arangaon to abandon meat and eggs, even paying some of them not to eat the flesh of any deceased animals. In 1949, Baba began allowing the eating of eggs and even meat for some disciples.) Baba neither smoked nor drank alcohol. He slept very little, too, and not in the normal, unconscious way, but with clarity and awareness. Tales abound of his clairvoyantly knowing what his mandali watchmen and other disciples were doing beyond his enclosure while Baba’s body apparently slept for its usual 1 to 3 hours late at night, often snoring.
Baba was quite austere in other aspects of his lifestyle: for the first dozen years of his public ministry, he primarily wore an old black kamli coat of wool (even in summer) with white cotton pants or dhoti, or a plain white cotton sadra, a loose robe-like white cotton garment, with or without the kamli. For long periods he lived in the smallest, sparest dwellings, such as the jhopdi and table cabin at Meherabad, the tiny box-cabin in Sai Durbar hall, and the small water tank room and crypt atop Meherabad Hill, the only real furnishings being a rug and later in life a chair. On his travels in the early decades, he mainly stayed in huts and caves or small spare rooms.
On Baba’s frequent seclusions, with a watchman stationed either in the room or outside the door, Baba explained, “For certain kinds of work which I have to do in non-physical realms, I prefer to shut myself up in a small place.” (Avatar, p. 59) “I am really the only one who is not in seclusion. It is the rest of humanity that is in seclusion.” (The God-Man, p. 379) His seclusions, which occupied so much of his life, were not for himself, but for doing universal work on behalf of disciples and all sentient beings. He would oftentimes walk continually up and down within the cell or room in which he had secluded himself. Scholar Allan Cohen notes: “Often he would come out of a few hours’ seclusion more exhausted than after weeks of walking across India with no food.” (The Mastery of Consciousness, Harper Colophon, 1977, p. 17.)
It was excruciating for Baba to have returned to full consciousness of the human plane as Avatar (God-Man) after being awakened to Divinity as a Perfect Master (Man-God) by Hazrat Babajan. Hence the remarkably violent head-pounding to mask or release the pain in the several years after this momentous awakening. (This head-pounding persisted through 1922.) Baba suffered mysterious ailments his entire life, from the time he organized the first ashram for disciples in Bombay in 1922 until his final days on earth. He was no doubt taking on the karma and negative vibrations of disciples and all beings as part of his much-talked-about “universal work.” (Along this line of “taking on karma,” some mandali have counseled distressed people undergoing great trials, “It is Baba suffering in you.” This is a great psychological re-frame of one’s circumstances. Instead of feeling self-pity or resentment toward Fate for putting one through such misery, one feels compassion for the God-Self within who is masquerading as this person and suffering from such narrow self-identification.)
Baba was often observed to go into unusual states wherein he engaged in his universal work. He might draw a shawl over his head and, with eyes closed or looking off to the distance, make curious, enigmatic movements with his fingers in the air. Baba would say that he was always doing universal work to give humanity a spiritual push toward realization of an enlightened “new humanity”; during these observable trance states, he apparently was engaged in special inner-plane work.
Though Baba was viewed as the Divine Avatar by his mandali and by himself, he did not put on pompous airs or stand aloof. He forbade most of the mandali to fall at his feet or salute him with hands joined in the traditional pranam position, both of which are customary ways of showing respect to a guru in India. Baba-lover and scholar Allan Cohen writes, “Frequently mentioned by observers was Baba’s naturalness, his way of putting everyone at ease, of being a friend and superb host. Even those who accepted him as God incarnate felt extremely comfortable around him. He wore no religious markings and mixed freely with everyone. Baba was physically affectionate, preferring his followers to embrace him lovingly rather than bow down to him. In films he is seen clapping backs, tweaking ears, gently grasping hands, equally natural with men, women, and children…. Baba’s naturalness was reflected especially in his playfulness and humor. He enjoyed playing games with his lovers, especially with children, and he was a top-notch Ping-Pong player and marble shooter. Baba cracked jokes constantly when the occasion called for lightness. He loved humorous stories and often called on certain lovers to tell jokes, sometimes just before or after powerful spiritual discourses. He enjoyed being entertained by amateur skits, songs, and dances put on by followers, some of which included loving satires on him.” (The Mastery of Consciousness, p. 16.)
Baba was celibate and spotlessly pure in heart. In addition to his male disciples of varying ages, he associated closely with women mandali (who lived separately from the males), especially his chief female disciple, Mehera, who, along with a few other women, young and old, came to him in 1922. But he never engaged in sexual relations with anyone. On his third trip to Persia, he let two prostitutes following him into his and the mandalis’ quarters and so transformed these women with his dazzling divine purity that they vowed amidst copious tears to change their form of work. Jean Adriel, speaking of the “sex-ridden women who hound the footsteps of most spiritual teachers,” wrote, “Though I have seen many of this type approach Baba, it seems as though in his presence a transmutation of lower desires instantly takes place.” (Avatar, p. 126) Baba himself had said, “Sex for me does not exist” (The God-Man, p. 100). He gave a number of talks contrasting lust with true love, and he demanded of his followers that they not lust after sensual pleasure… Or wealth. Baba himself never kept any money, though at least a million dollars of funds were donated to his movement over the decades, primarily to support the disciples who had surrendered to him and the mass darshans and charitable projects that grew out of his ministry. He touched currency notes and coins only to pass them on to the poor or to masts. Though Baba was established on the plane of freedom and renunciation, he was always willing to do the dirtiest work, such as cleaning out latrines and drainage gutters, and bathing lepers, poor persons and schoolchildren.
This leads us to two quintessential features that attracted multitudes to Meher Baba: his loving kindness and merciful compassion. Who else labored so tirelessly to seek out and serve the masts, as well as the poor and the leprous? This work is surely unique in the annals of spiritual literature. Moreover, only a Divine love could have induced his mandali to stay with him through his sundry tests of obedience and burning of their ego-tendencies. Baba in so many ways displayed his love for his disciples and selfless service on their behalf. He was deeply involved in their lives, especially when they lived near him. Kitty Davy: “No one who has not lived near Baba can ever believe how every detail of everybody’s life throughout the day was His concern. It might have been your food, your health, your bath, your special work, your home ties, but whatever it was it was also Baba’s interest. How He also did His spiritual or universal work was a puzzle to me, but He said, ‘This must be so. I work all the time whether I am thinking of the butter, bread or milk [i.e., the mundane details of his mandalis’ lives]. I do My universal work simultaneously. I cannot rest unless I work. When I work, that is My rest. My work is in restlessness.’” (Love Alone Prevails: A Story of Life with Meher Baba, Myrtle Beach, SC: Sheriar Press, 1981, p. 271)
He greatly loved animals, going to great lengths to rescue and care for certain animals in hazardous or ailing conditions. At different times in his life, especially from the 1930s on, he kept animals with him or with the mandali, such as dogs, pigs, horses, monkeys, deer, rabbits, lambs, peacocks, birds, goldfish, etc. He often visited zoos with mandali to do universal work for the animal kingdom through the animals at the zoos. A mini-zoo was started by Elizabeth Patterson and other women at Bangalore in 1939, with Baba supervising many of the details. (See Mehera Irani, Baba Loved Us Too: Stories of Meher Baba and His Pets; Ivy Oneita Duce, How a Master Works, pp. 547-553; Kitty Davy, Love Alone Prevails, passim, on examples of Baba’s relationship with animals.) Whereas Baba allowed mandali to kill mosquitoes, he instructed mandali never to kill or step on any ants or other insects if they could help it, even the biting red ants.
Miracles often happened around Baba: knowing the inmost heart of a person, seeing remote events, helping people at a distance in times of need, healing hearts and minds and bodies, making rain, stopping rain, procuring underground water supplies, bi-locating his bodily presence to appear at a distance, and so forth. (See accounts in Ramjoo, Adriel, Ivy Duce, the Lord Meher volumes, etc.) Baba always maintained that he did no miracles. When pressed on the point by disciples who had witnessed all sorts of paranormal knowing and doing (ESP and PK), Baba responded, as recounted by longtime mandali Eruch Jessawalla, that he had “lovers” not just on the earth plane but also on the subtle planes, and that these subtle beings often helped his earthly Baba lovers. (See Eruch Jessawalla, That’s How It Was: Stories of Life with Meher Baba, Sheriar Foundation, 1995, p. 162.) Don Stevens, reflecting on the obvious healings and amazing synchronicities that happened around Baba, wrote, “I believe with all my heart that Baba is telling the literal truth when he says that he has never had anything consciously to do with wonder-working miracles. But I also have no doubt whatsoever that many of the miracles attributed to Baba are actually due to his general influence.” (Listen, Humanity, p. 213) In the final analysis, we might recall Baba’s statement in a 1932 interview: “The only real miracle for a Perfect One is to make others perfect too, to make them realize the infinite state, which he himself enjoys. That is a real miracle.” (Purdom, The God-Man, p. 441)
One special way that Baba helped to make others perfect or bring them closer to perfection was by directly infusing them with his spiritual energy by touching them, passing his hand near them, or just looking at them intently. This was experienced by the disciple with the classic “energy empowerment” symptoms seen around the world in what is variously known as shaktipat, wang, qi-gong, baraka, and Pentecostal “Spirit-baptism”: a tremendous sense of electric energy, heat, vibration, trembling, involuntary weeping, laughing, visions, etc. Many Westerners (Elizabeth Patterson, Jean Adriel, Quentin Tod, Ivy Duce, et al.) experienced this phenomenon around Baba, as did numerous Indians, Persians and others—especially during the days of Sadhak Ashram and Prem Ashram in 1927-8.
Meher Baba’s primary way of working with his disciples was to require them to be strictly obedient to his commands, forcing them to notice the selfish will and give it up in an ongoing act of surrender to the God-Man. Baba was not a dictatorial tyrant—his directives and demands for obedience lie in the classic, centuries-old tradition of spiritual direction exemplified by countless Catholic abbots, Hindu gurus, Zen roshis, Tibetan lamas, Sufi shaikhs, Hasidic rebbes and indigenous Shamans. Yet, clearly, Baba’s special ministry for his mandali required their obeying a great number of directives.
Some disciples, like Gustadji (c.1890-1957), Behramji (c.1891-1940), Daulat Irani and her daughter Mehera, Angal Pleader, Kaikobad, et al., were put through particularly intensive regimens by Baba involving great austerities: long-term fasting, silence, and/or confinement to meditation cells. In the Kasba Peth period of his early ministry, Baba kept Gustadji up most nights attending to Babajan and then working in Baba’s toddy shop during the day. Gustadji ate very little during this sleepless period, usually just a bit of boiled spinach, nothing but water for one six-month period. In 1923 and thereafter, Baba had Gustadji and Behramji frequently observe fasts more rigorous than other mandali, e.g., eating or drinking something only once every 24 hours. The loquacious Gustadji, on Baba’s command, maintained total silence from May 1, 1927 onward, using only hand signals to communicate. Shortly afterward, Daulat Irani and then Baba Tambat, one of the Kasba Peth mandali living at Meherabad since 1925, were also asked by Baba to maintain silence, which they did for the rest of their lives, too. For forty-four years from when Mehera first came to Baba in 1924, she stayed strictly secluded, even more so than the other women mandali—often kept in purdah, complete veiling. Starting in 1928, Pleader was put into different small rooms for five years—no talking, reading or writing, seeing only a few attendants, and fasting almost entirely on milk—before Baba sent him to meet a 6th plane saint in Rishikesh and later returned him to normal life. Kaikobad, a Parsi priest, for over a dozen years starting on Aug. 1, 1944, had a secluded meditation practice involving 100,000 daily recitations of Baba’s name. Some women mandali had undergone the same practice for a much shorter duration. On Dec. 2, 1927, Baba opened his “Sadhak Ashram,” with five temporary huts erected on Meherabad Hill next to his dwelling at the time; here five mandali (Gopal Swamy, Shankarnath, Sheriar Mehrabanpur, K.K. Manekar and Gulab Shah) lived in meditation while fasting on milk and water, using bedpans (cleaned by Vishnu), not even leaving the huts to relieve themselves. Baba commanded certain spouses to maintain celibacy for long periods or their entire lives together. Other disciples near or far from Baba, though not required to live with such lengthy restrictions or regimens, nevertheless underwent significant austerities and tests of obedience with Baba. Meher Baba’s commands and demands ranged from the profoundly spiritual to seemingly trivial matters. Purdom notes how Baba “makes a practice of demanding unexpectedly what seems to be the trifling and unnecessary; for instance, in the most awkward places he may ask for particular food; in a train, perhaps, just as it is about to start, he will demand hot milk, and the disciple must fetch it even though it may mean almost certain missing of the train.” (The God-Man, p. 377)
The mandate to completely, unquestioningly, obey Baba might seem terrifying, as it meant the utter loss of autonomy, control, and power in the interpersonal social situation. And yet such loss of freedom on the level of the conditioned human will yielded authentic freedom at a higher level. At the Meherabad pilgrim center is a plaque with quotes from the illustrious medieval Persian poet-saint Hafiz; the first and last quotes read, “Befitting a fortunate slave, carry out every command of the Master, without any question of why and what…. I am slave of the Master, who has released me from ignorance. Whatever my Master does is of the highest benefit to all concerned.” Baba’s purpose was not to turn his mandali into automatons, but rather to transform them into mature spiritual adepts free of all the taints and constraints of the egocentric mind. Thus empowered, the mandali could meet each situation in a response-able state of pure functioning or selfless service, no longer obsessed, as is the usual person, with “me and mine.” Purdom explains, “The will of the disciple is given up that he may receive it again.” (The God-Man, p. 433) Mature disciples quickly transcended any sense of obedience to Baba as obedience to a mere person. They realized that surrendering to and obeying Baba was simply surrendering to and obeying Infinite Awareness or God, our Real Identity, Who wants us free in/as God.
A further way used by Baba to promote spiritual unattachment and genuine freedom was to see if he could catch any of his followers settling into mental models and expectations of how life will be or should be. Thus, Baba often shifted his disciples around from town to town, switched their accommodations, changed pre-set plans, broke promises, and canceled large and small projects after starting them up with certain mandali. “It is ... this not-knowing-in-advance—this living from day to day—which constitutes one of Baba’s most effective techniques in training one in the Life of the Spirit.” (Adriel, Avatar, p. 148) Baba wanted his disciples to live in the fullness of the present moment, rather than in mental constructions of a future. To break down these mental constructions, Baba orchestrated a flurry of changes that left his disciples no choice but to live in the here and now. As Kitty Davy stated, “We seldom knew beforehand what our next move might be, for a change of plan was so frequent. We lived in the eternal NOW.” (Love Alone Prevails, p. 252)
It is in this context that we can explain the fact that Baba would make grand prophecies that never came true. There were many accurate prophecies by Baba through the years—e.g., foreseeing the imminent, unannounced arrival of visitors to where he was staying; foreseeing the plague that assailed Poona’s Hindu community in 1922; foreseeing Gandhi’s meetings with him and later assassination; foreseeing [as early as 1927] World War II and America’s central role in it, and many, many other prophecies. In this light, the “failed” prophecies, interspersed with accurate ones, can be seen as part of his method with disciples, not the ravings of a mediocre psychic. Of course, those with a negative view of Baba, like British journalist Paul Brunton, found the “failed” prophecies evidence of the latter.
As part of manifesting the classic “joker” or “trickster” archetype of the Divine, Baba would play with his disciples, journalists, and even respected figures like Gandhi about when he would break his silence and what this would mean. When Gandhi begged him in 1931 to break his silence, Baba declared he would do so “within two to six months.” Baba’s silence and his oft-prophesied imminent Breaking of the Silence served as a gigantic Zen koan, a mind-breaking enigma. Among other things, this developed his disciples’ capacity for patient waiting. Different Baba lovers have pet theories about what the silence-breaking would mean. The view among seasoned mandali like Eruch Jessawalla is that Baba’s Divinity had already “spoken” on a spiritual level to disciples and God-lovers everywhere throughout his entire life, and certainly at his physical death. Moreover, Eruch and a few others actually heard Baba audibly speak a word or two near the end of his life. On Baba’s silence, we recall the Buddha’s legendary silent smile that inwardly awakened his disciple Kashyapa—the fabled father of the lineage that developed into Chan/Zen Buddhism. Baba’s silent, smiling presence was always communicating enlightenment beyond words in a heart-to-heart transmission of the Dharma... Pure Egoless Love, Compassion and Freedom.
As further evidence of the “Divine trickster” function, Baba employed a masterful ability to orchestrate conflicts between one disciple and another, to test their egoic reactions. Baba would then find a way to bring the persons to reconciliation, and he always stressed the great need for his disciples to work together harmoniously, without selfishness.
Related to this was the tense atmosphere of crisis that he often built, involving disciples, scheduled events, and his commands. The relentless tension sooner or later compelled disciples to let go any egoic attachments or self-sense of being the “doer,” “planner” or “worrier.” Moreover, as Baba’s first secretary and chronicler F. H. Dadachanji (d. 1944) wrote in 1941: “The Master creates opposition and works through all this chaos, utilizing all energy thus released for his work.” Baba was once asked why he sometimes subjected disciples to such unreasonable ordeals. He replied that occasionally for his universal work he needs the energy resident in the emotions, and to avail himself of it he would stir up the emotional nature of one or more of his disciples. “Whom else should I use for my work, if not my own?” (Avatar, p. 200)
Yet another way of breaking down and dissolving people’s egos, testing their equipoise, and burning up old negative karmas was to criticize them, often for no apparent good reason. He might criticize in a humorous, light-hearted manner or in a seemingly cross mood. Before, during or after his fault-finding, he might sulk around, appearing quite morose or sad. Some of his criticism seemed, prima facie, terribly over-reactive, given the fairly innocuous nature of the actions by the mandali or devotees. Baba might also noticeably ignore his disciples so utterly that it was obviously a deliberate strategy employed by him to annihilate disciples’ egos. (One ignored Western mandali, Rano Gayley, finally realized with joy and relief that Baba must be thinking a lot about her and Kitty Davy to so carefully avoid ever glancing at them.) On certain occasions Baba forcefully slapped a mandali. He also was observed to slap himself harshly on not a few occasions, taking upon himself the punishment or karma-burning. A few times he even struck a mandali with a cane or other object.
Such extreme acts were considered not to be temperamental, out-of-control behavior, but were thought to be Baba’s way of alleviating negative situations elsewhere and/or also helping disciples mitigate or melt the forces of karma. He stated as much on revelatory occasions. For instance, once he struck Kitty Davy on the back while she was drawing water from a well. He later “explained that there were times when work on other planes did not go quite right and He would sometimes pass on part of the burden by striking someone. He said further that we were extremely fortunate if He did occasionally throw His mood on us. How many times in the early days did I observe this with His great friend and disciple, beloved Chanji [Baba’s secretary].” (Love Alone Prevails, p. 323). Again, criticism and blows were very often used by Baba to work on disciples’ sanskaras. On Dec. 9, 1927 he revealed: “Without the sanskaras being totally eliminated there is no spiritual liberation. To dispose of sanskaras one has to create reverse sanskaras, which are opposite in nature. Opposite impressions reverse the sanskaric makeup of the mind….. But the mind never dies of itself…. The Sadguru … is required to deal with the mind and all its mischief…. If by hurting a person temporarily you provide a permanent healing, this apparently cruel act of yours is, in fact, a blessing. In the same way, suppose that by rendering a temporary healing you create a permanent hurt; this apparently blessed act of yours is, in fact, a curse. So the Sadguru is at first apparently considered an enemy when he tries to remove sins and wipe out desires and sanskaras of the aspirant by forcing strict discipline on him, renunciation, et cetera. But when the bliss of union with the Beloved God is attained through his grace, he is considered a true friend.” (Lord Meher, vol. 3, p. 991) In the 1930s, Baba compassionately stated to Jean Adriel, who accused him of sometimes being cruel, “I must be temporarily cruel in order to be permanently kind.... The day will come when even the memory of this pain will be completely obliterated by the all-consuming joy which will flood your soul.” (Avatar, p. 230) As early as 1916, a line in one of Baba’s ghazal songs had run, “There is abuse on the Masters’ lips, / But blessings in their hearts.” Upasani Maharaj, Sai Baba, and other fiery masters doing universal work often behaved in the same apparently harsh manner. Thus, we surmise: better to receive a blow or a criticism from Baba in the overall context of his love than to have to undergo a serious misfortune served up by one’s karmic destiny. Purdom: “When, therefore, Baba rebukes a disciple, it is for the sake of protecting him, if he is in danger, or of attracting to himself the sanskaras that are affecting the disciple, so freeing him from them. To be abused by a Master is a blessing.” (The God-Man, p. 437) Recall again that Meher Baba was, for the most part, obviously loving and compassionate with his disciples and visitors, as his very name indicates: Meher Baba, “Compassionate Father.”
Baba would initially woo an individual with this love, compassion, friendliness, and warmth in an informal ambience of great joviality. After an initial “honeymoon” period, a period of pure sweetness and light that deeply bonded the woman or man to Baba, he usually lowered the boom by subjecting the person to tests of obedience and then mild-to-severe criticism if/when the person failed such tests. Not infrequently the person was “set up” by Baba to fail such tests. Of course, all would be completely forgiven once the mistake was pointed out and the lesson in humility learned. Alternatively, Baba might test disciples by allowing them many comforts and pleasures, then subjecting them to a lifestyle full of discomfort, austerity and fatigue. This was especially true during some of their arduous travels with Baba. Dr. William Donkin remarked to Ivy Duce that Baba’s twin methods for erasing his disciples’ false ego were humiliation and exhaustion. The result would be the same: the dissolution of the smug, constricted ego, replaced by simple, transparent Being.
Jean Adriel declared that Baba, with his ego-erasing methods, was the “supreme, master psychologist.” For his part, Baba stated in the Discourses that modern psychology was limited, for “it has yet to discover the methods of awakening inspiration or supplying the mind and heart with something dynamic which makes life worth living.... Life cannot be permanently imprisoned within the cage of the ego; it must, at some time, aspire toward the Truth. In the ripeness of evolution the momentous discovery is made that life cannot be understood and lived fully as long as it is made to move around the pivot of the ego.” At the 1962 East-West Gathering, Baba told his workers, “The way of my work is the way of effacement, which is the way of strength, not of weakness; and through it you become mature in my love.” (The God-Man, p. 368)
When we reflect on all the ways Baba utilized his “tough love” to dissolve or destroy their egos, we might wonder how or why any mandali stayed with him for so many years. Let us recall: 1) Baba in diverse ways had shown a remarkably charismatic, sacrificial and, well, Divine love for them; 2) many masters, saints, and masts had affirmed Baba’s divinity over the years, starting with holy man Upasani Maharaj and the highly-respected matriarch Hazrat Babajan; 3) Baba explicitly clarified how and why he was working with disciples in these apparently abusive ways: to awaken them from egoic life to Divine life. A number of resolute mandali accepted the bargain and over the decades felt it was supremely worth it.
We note that Baba, on certain occasions, indicated that his criticisms should not be taken too heavily. Once he stated, “My being out of sorts or fed up is because of outside reasons. … I am occupied with my work and my outward behavior is so peculiar that you do not understand it.” (Lord Meher, Vol. 3, p. 807) On another occasion, he said, “Neither praise nor blame should distract you from the path of your duty.... If your conscience tells you that you have discharged the duty properly, that is enough.... It is human to err, and there must be mistakes, you can only do your best.... Even if I speak to you harshly about such mistakes do not take what I say to heart.” (The God-Man, p. 72) Sometimes, Baba even allowed the “harsh treatment” to proceed in the opposite direction. Once he let mandali Aloba come twist his ear, and remarked to the other assembled mandali: “If any of you feel like giving vent to your pent up feelings to settle old scores with me, I would not mind my ear twisted this day by any of you without fear of my displeasure.” Amidst the roar of laughter, Baba remarked, “Twisting of my ears is easy, but following my orders is difficult.” (Lord Meher, Vol. 9 & 10, pp. 3394-6) Purdom reflects: “One of the proofs of Baba’s greatness is the greatness of those who have been with him all their lives.... Only by being what he is could Baba have held these men [and women] for a lifetime. Being greater than the saints, he has not allowed them the beatific experience of the saints, he has given them only hard work, poor accommodation, poor food and little sleep, and the crushing weight of his divine love and boundless compassion. They have stayed simply because he is what he is—the Perfect Man, which is the totality of Godhood in human form; and he .... is the only Person in the world or beyond it who can make and keep them happy.” (The God-Man, p. 352)
Baba stated as early as 1934 in London, “There are three principal ways in which I work: 1) individually, 2) collectively (for crowds and masses), and 3) universally.” (Naosherwan Anzar, The Beloved: The Life and Work of Meher Baba, North Myrtle Beach, SC: Sheriar Press, 1974, p. 36.) We have discussed Baba’s individual work with disciples, and his universal work to give humanity a “spiritual push.” Baba’s collective work took place in the context of crowded urban streets and plazas, cinema and theatre halls, sports arenas (including a bullfighter’s ring in Spain), and wherever crowds gathered. How, precisely, he did this collective work with groups of people, no one knows. It most likely had something to do with refining or clearing people’s subconscious minds of sanskaras as these people were engrossed in their object of attention.
All the talk of “universal work,” “individual work,” etc., might justifiably strike some readers as mere rationalization, a license for a supposed spiritual leader to do whatever he/she wants to do. Certainly in recent decades we have extensive documentation of alleged “God-Men,” “Avatars,” “awake spiritual masters,” etc. using similar rationalizations as a cover to abuse their disciples, inflate their own egos, and aggrandize themselves with power and privileges. A number of very ill-behaved figures like L.Ron Hubbard, Rajneesh/Osho, Sathya Sai Baba, Adi Da, Chogyam Trungpa, and several others easily come to mind. In the case of Meher Baba, however, the overall evidence suggests that he is NOT to be categorized with these rogues. He was a selfless giver, not a selfish taker; he was utterly unattached to possessions and comforts; he was so thoroughly sacrificing and even punishing of himself with extreme austerities, mortifications and deprivations before he ever disciplined his followers; he was so pure and profound in the way he loved fellow sentient beings. All this evidence and more prevents one from associating Baba with the demented rascals of the modern spiritual era—like the aforementioned men who invoke the idea of “Crazy Wisdom” and “Tough Love” as an anything-goes license for grossly misbehaving and abandoning all accountability and responsibility.
Baba was dead set against the caste system, and in the mid-1920s he worked overtly in a collective way with his Hindu mandali to break their caste prejudices, such as by having an outcaste man serve them food and letting outcastes from Arangaon village draw water from the same well as brahmins, unheard of in India at that time. Baba invited children of all castes and religions to attend his Meherabad schools and Prem Ashram. He often preferred to sit with the so-called untouchables rather than higher caste persons at social and/or spiritual events, and when he traveled by train, he usually rode third-class to mingle with the harijans, the children of God, as Gandhi called those made outcastes by the system.
Though Baba had stated in a 1932 interview with the British press, “All religions are revelations of God,” he wasn’t a fan of institutional religion, and sharply criticized the hypocrisy and dead ritualism of most present-day religious circles perpetrated by the different “priesthoods.” For himself, Baba had transcended religious affiliations. He practiced neither his ancestors’ Zoroastrianism nor Hinduism nor Islam. (For the record, Baba declared that “The Shahnameh [Zoroastrian holy book] is almost total fiction. Zoroastrianism is very old—almost six thousand years. ... Religion as the Parsis practice it today has nothing in it. All the original teachings of Zarathustra were buried and destroyed.” Lord Meher, Vol. 4, p. 1352) In 1961, Baba had the following words inscribed over a Hamirpur Baba center: “I belong to no religion. My religion is love. Every heart is my temple…. Ceremonies cover me but pure worship reveals me.” (Ivy Duce, How a Master Works, Sufism Reoriented, 1975, p. 80) Yet Baba did often ask that sincere, heartfelt prayers and rituals be occasionally carried out by his Hindu, Muslim, Parsi and Christian mandali in their own religious faiths. His first major spiritual instruction given to the mandali in October 1922 required them to mentally recite the Name of God as revealed in their particular ancestral faith.
While Baba’s mission transcended religion, on the spiritual level it clearly featured strong resonance with the best of Muslim mystical Sufism and Hindu Advaita (nondual) Vedanta. This deserves further elaboration…
Baba’s Sufi connections: Hazrat Babajan, an Afghani Sufi qalandar (unaffiliated with any particular tariqa or Sufi order), was Baba’s first Master and the one with whom he would sit nightly for several years before beginning his own mission. Baba very much loved listening to Sufi qawwal music his entire life, and he read much of the Persian Sufi poets in his youth, especially Hafiz and Rumi, under the inspiration of his father Sheriar, quoting from these poets later in life. Sheriar, though Zoroastrian by ancestry, had traveled around Persia for 8 years in the manner of a Sufi dervish, no doubt picking up considerable Sufi influences along the way and later communicating them to his son. Baba speaks of rarified Sufi states of final spiritual development in some of his early discourses, such as those published for The Meher Message (1929-31). He had connections with Sufi Master Tajuddin Baba of Nagpur and with the illustrious Sai Baba, a Sufi-Vedanta qalandar of Shirdi. One of Baba’s early and closest disciples, Dr. Abdul Ghani, was leader of the Sufis in Poona, named “Munsiff” by them. Baba helped Murshida Ivy Duce charter Sufism Reoriented in the early 1950s. (She was the successor of Rabia Ada Martin, who was in turn the successor of Hazrat Inayat Khan [d. 1927], who had brought Sufism to the West with his founding of the Sufi Order in 1910.) In 1956 Baba told Ivy, “I am the greatest Sufi of the past, present and future.”
Baba’s Hindu Vedanta connections: He studied for seven years under Upasani Maharaj, a Hindu Vedantin, and he had many Hindu friends and disciples. Much of Baba’s teachings are couched in Hindu Vedanta terminology (e.g., his teachings about the samskaras, reincarnation, jnana- and karma-yoga, life is a temporary dream, etc.). Baba claimed that he was, in a former “minor advent,” none other than the sage Sankara (7th-8th century), illustrious articulator of the Advaita (nondual) Vedanta, the reigning spiritual-psychological-philosophical worldview of Hindu India down to the present. He also claimed that, in a later minor advent, he was the Hindu king Shivaji. (See endnote for p. 1308 in Lord Meher, Vol. 4.) The fact that Baba used the Hindu concept of “Avatara” to describe himself, and allowed his women mandali on occasion to dress him up as Lord Krishna (they would make clothes and costumes for him while he was away, also write and rehearse plays for him), suggests that Baba had a strong resonance with Hindu tradition. Certainly few Zoroastrians or Muslims would have countenanced the “Avatar” idea. Baba also greatly enjoyed listening to Hindu bhajan-singing, and promoted the celebration of Hindu festivals for his Hindu mandali and for Hindus in the towns and villages around him, on several occasions stating that Hinduism had taken the devotional life to further heights than any other religion.
Anyone encountering Meher Baba will be struck by the many paradoxes and enigmas characterizing his personality and utterances. Lawrence Reiter, longtime Baba-lover and editor of the most comprehensive biography on Baba, Lord Meher, writes of Baba’s paradoxical nature (in an introduction to Vol. 3): “One cannot limit Meher Baba to ‘this’ or ‘that.’ To say the Master was compassionate is true, but to say that in order to destroy the ego-mind he had to be cruel is also true. To say that Meher Baba was forgiving is true, but that he despised false saints and forgave all sins but hypocrisy is also true.”
At his first ashram, the Manzil-e-Meem in Bombay, opened in June 1922, Baba clearly behaved in “autocratic” fashion, to use the word employed by one of the mandali, Ramjoo Abdulla, who chronicled in his diary this early phase of Baba’s work, featuring countless strict orders, directives and reproaches from Baba. Such “command and control” tactics were utilized by Baba his entire life. Yet this was no tyrant, for Baba was quite receptive to hearing his mandali’s opinions, and he often asked his disciples to candidly speak their minds, be critical of him, select from multiple-choice options of behavior, leave him if they wished, compose humorous plays about him, and so forth. In January 1923 he allowed the mandali to institute the Gutta (tavern), a self-government council that he chaired but which allowed for the completely egalitarian expression of opinions by any of the mandali. Later in life, Baba graciously and humorously defused a couple attempts at “mutiny” by a few longtime disciples (e.g., Dr. Ghani and Gustadji), who lovingly relented and returned to the training in obedience directed by Baba. On many occasions Baba openly apologized to certain disciples or an entire group for sometimes having to be so harsh in his work.
Another paradox: Baba declared he was the Infinite God, pure Divine Peace: “I am always so constant and still that it cannot be imagined” (Lord Meher, Vol. 4, p. 1191). Yet he often appeared quite restless, pacing back and forth, fingers twitching, often spending entire nights doing so. Evidently this was all part of his universal work, his engaging unseen, inter-dimensional forces. An even more paradoxical contrast to his Divine Peace was his temper: Baba would storm about loudly issuing punishments, threats, demands, ultimatums, and so on, or, after the silence began, gesticulating fiercely. Recall that Baba had demonstrated time and time again, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was completely unattached and perfectly poised about whatever happened. He could blissfully endure the greatest discomforts, austerities, slander from the Parsi community, etc. And yet on many occasions he showed obvious displeasure, looking sullen or even throwing heated tantrums, when things didn’t go as wanted, such as when he found that his hotel room in San Francisco in 1956 wasn’t directly connected to the mandali’s room (How a Master Works, p. 275). An outsider might think that Baba was really upset in not having his preferences met. Yet these flashes of temper appear to have been an integral part of “his universal work,” too. On some occasions, they also seem to have been a form of spiritual therapy or testing for his mandali, for in these cases his temper would usually subside almost instantly and Baba would smilingly retract the punishments, threats and commands.
One of the most obvious paradoxes about Baba, from July 10, 1925 onward, was his “loquacious silence” that persisted on the outer level for the remaining 44 years of his earthly life. Out of that silence issued many long discourses and declarations written on his slate and later conveyed through his alphabet board and, after that, via his special gestures.
Related to this, Baba famously (and silently) stated, “I have not come to teach but to awaken.” Yet in fact he did teach on many spiritual subjects—as displayed in weighty tomes like God Speaks, Discourses, and many other works filled with subtle distinctions and nuances of metaphysics, spiritual psychology, and esoteric dimensions of the cosmos.
Another paradox: to those who said that they saw Baba in their dreams, he communicated, “Don’t attribute them to me. I have come to awaken you out of your dreams.” (The God-Man, p. 439) And yet in the early decades with his disciples of East and West Baba asked them many details concerning their dreams and actually appeared in many of these dreams.
He stated that he was omniscient, yet, as we have seen, he repeatedly went out on a limb to make many prophecies that went unfulfilled. Baba stated that much of this prophetic language would not be comprehensible to humans.
He often declared the nondual Truth, “I am the only One,” and yet he occasionally made dualistic-sounding statements like, “Maya (the force of delusion) will make things go against me” (The God-Man, p. 349)—as if there was a second principle outside of Himself, at odds with Himself. Of course, this could only have been true as pertains to his working in the realm of Maya, not in transcendent Awareness, his Spiritual Essence or Formless Reality.
Yet another paradox: Baba had clearly spoken of his Divine bliss (e.g., “I am bliss personified,” Lord Meher, Vol. 4, p. 1171) and stated that there is only “bliss, bliss, bliss,” “there is nothing like suffering!” (ibid, pp. 1170, 1191). Yet Baba repeatedly told of his great pain and suffering in completely taking on the human condition as Avatar. Compare this to Perfect Masters Babajan, Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), and others who stated and demonstrated that they had transcended the body and all its pains. Babajan happily watched maggots devour one of her fingers and laughingly treated the whole thing as nothing but a dream. Maharshi’s body died of what doctors said must have been an agonizing cancer, yet he almost never mentioned it and looked blissfully serene up until his day of death. How, then, do we explain Baba’s suffering and his frequent references to it? He stated that he was fully taking on human ignorance, ignorance of fundamental Divine bliss, and this is why he suffered so many things. Eruch Jessawalla related that Baba “does not use the all-bliss attribute [of God]. If he were to use it, then the purpose of his having ‘come’ on earth in human form would be nullified.... One of the main purposes of his advent is to take upon himself human suffering.” (Tales from The New Life with Meher Baba, Berkeley, CA: The Beguine Library, 1976, p. 126.)
We have learned that Baba was very simple, natural and informal. Yet, paradoxically enough, there was also a sense of formality and high drama about him. It’s almost hilarious to note that, from the earliest days, at various intervals, Baba’s mandali were required to sign formal declarations of commitment to him for agreed-upon periods of time, and even contracts excusing Baba from any liability for their physical or spiritual welfare! Most disciples, especially the westerners who came to Baba from the 1930s to 50s, saw themselves as participating in an intriguing cosmic saga in being near their Lord. Everything he did, even quite mundane activity, was alleged by these disciples or by Baba himself to be imbued with great significance as part of his mysterious universal work. One gathers that Baba was facetiously playing in some of these cases, testing his disciples’ reactions. For instance, once during the 1955 sahavas he paced back and forth, back and forth, then remarked to nearby disciples that he was not engaged, as some might think, in doing his universal work: “as a matter of fact, I was only digesting my lunch.” (How a Master Works, p. 339) The larger truth, as Baba stated, is that he was always engaged in universal work.
Baba often declared, “There is no past or future,” yet he issued numerous apocalyptic warnings about the world and his own destiny that seemed uncharacteristic of a transcendent consciousness beyond past and future abiding freely in/as the Eternal Now. In the early 1950s Baba made clear distinctions between the “New Life,” the “Old Life” and then the “Free Life” phases of his work, and he frequently spoke of what he would do in the future. Few, if any, nondual mystics known to history spoke so extensively as did Meher Baba of the future or his plans for it. Again, much of this futurist-talk seems to have been part of Baba’s play, a method of testing the mandali’s minds as to whether they were truly focused in the present.
Along this line, another notable paradox: biographer Charles Purdom notes that Baba meticulously kept worldly promises, but broke spiritual promises. “This promise-breaking is contrary to his practice in everyday affairs, which, … is scrupulous in its attention to precise detail, and he never neglects to keep commitments [e.g., insuring the financial security of his mandali]. That, however, is in mundane matters, always treated as very important, but in the great things, in spiritual matters, in his activities as a Master, he is unpredictable. He says one thing and does another. Time after time he declares that he will speak, and does not. He says he will drop his body, and does not…. In 1958 he made all his followers all over the world repeat a hundred or even a thousand times a day for forty days ‘that all our beloved Baba has said will all come to pass this year.’ And it did not come to pass…. Thus Baba seems to abuse the faith of his disciples, while exhorting them continually to hold on to his daaman [the hem of his garment, that is, to keep faith]… Most of his followers take this buffeting and seeming betrayal very quietly… A few leave him, some express disgust or disquiet, sometimes active antagonism is offered. Those who remain are often made to feel in a painful predicament…. Thus, all who become associated with Meher Baba sooner or later are given shocks…. It is possible to say, however, after all of this, that of those who have been closest to Baba throughout forty years and have borne most, not one feels he has been let down.” (Ibid, p. 433-4, emphasis added.)
As part of the enigma of Meher Baba, over his life he made explicit, increasingly public statements about himself and his work that critics Paul Brunton and Colonel Irani and even some devotees found quite audacious. For instance, Baba stated that he was Avatar, God incarnate. Not just an Avatar, but the Avatar of the present age. Upasani Maharaj had first made this claim about Merwan being the Avatar in 1921. Yet the fact that Baba openly declared it, with increasingly greater frequency to his disciples and then to the public, and that he made a number of other grand statements about himself, seems rather “unbecoming” of God to do so, even if it was God speaking through the human persona of Meher Baba. Now, we should also note that on a few occasions, most memorably on Feb. 7, 1927, Baba made quite self-effacing comments about himself, too, apparently as a form of jesting spiritual theatre. Thus, on that day in 1927, he quizzically told the mandali: “You asked how the world is to know that I am God in human form, a Perfect master or a great spiritual authority, and how you are to convince people of this. Hearing this I now find that neither am I God nor a Perfect Master, which up to now I have been claiming to be. I was doing it only with the view to make people believe in me. I am an ordinary man. Those who have been harboring hopes of spiritual advancement, or expecting benediction, have now nothing of the sort to gain from me. When I myself have not experienced God, how could I make others have His darshan? So those of you who want to stay with me should stay on your own accord with the ... clear understanding that you will gain nothing from my hands. I hereby withdraw all the agreements, oral promises and sacred oaths I have taken from you and make you free of all restraint imposed on you by me. Still if any of you wish to be with me, it should be with the knowledge that I am not God but merely a friend; and in that case, you should not have the slightest expectation of any spiritual or material benefit from me. You will get only food and clothing and nothing else... What I want to impress upon you is that everything in this world is absolutely nothing. It is all unreal. It is only a dream, an illusion. I have known and experienced this much and there is nothing beyond. I do not wish to say anything about God. So I will only keep a few suitable people around me and keep them away from worldly attachments such as lust, greed and anger.” (Lord Meher, Vol. 3, p. 906)
Don Stevens, longtime American disciple and co-editor with Ivy Duce of Baba’s most important works, admits that his acceptance of Baba’s Avatar-claim was “almost grudging assent” that only later received greater confirmation. (Listen, Humanity, p. 220) There is a certain grandiosity or grandeur (depending on one’s viewpoint) about Baba’s communication that seemingly violated the traditional humility shown by almost all holy ones, even those generally regarded by their followers and pundits as Avatars such as Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Anandamayi Ma, Anasuya Devi, et al. Baba’s repeated self-referencing was a stumbling block for some and the basis for an overwrought diagnosis of psychopathology by Brunton. One can adduce many declarations by Baba along this line, such as: “Of the 56 God-Realized souls on earth, the five Perfect Masters are the most important; and the One who is the highest of all is the Avatar, myself. I come every 700 to 1400 years and it is undoubtedly a very rare and lucky thing for each of you to have the opportunity of loving me individually.” (June 1927, Lord Meher, Vol. 3, p. 944) “I am Prabhu—the Lord. I am all Knowledge-Power-Bliss. You see me, talk with me, and touch me, but I dwell in Infinity. My state is indescribable.” (June 28, 1925, Lord Meher, Vol. 3, p. 820) “I am the Lord Krishna. I am the Christ, the personification of love.” (The God-Man, p. 369) “Every utterance of mine will be worshipped. My words will be so sacred even they will work wonders!” (March 31, 1926, Lord Meher, Vol. 3, p. 924).
Purdom recalls, “When I was with him at Poona in 1954, he said to me quite unexpectedly, ‘You are bothered about the idea of Avatar. There is no need to be, for we are all Avatars.’ This was an instance of his knowing what was in one’s mind before one had given expression to it... He followed this remark ten days later by a declaration... ‘When I say I am the Avatar, there are a few who feel happy, some who feel shocked, and many who take me for a hypocrite, a fraud, a supreme egoist, or just mad. If I were to say every one of you is an Avatar, a few would be tickled and many would consider it a blasphemy or a joke. The fact that God being One, indivisible and equally in us all, we can be naught else but one, is too much for the duality-conscious mind. Yet each of us is what the other is. I know I am the Avatar in every sense of the word, and that each one of you is an Avatar in one sense or another.... Therefore it is God who makes me say I am the Avatar, and that each one of you is an Avatar.’” (The God-Man, p. 391-2) Purdom reflects: “[Baba] has an air of authority, yet never gives the slightest sign of being inflated with personal importance. He never poses or appears to be taking up an attitude, on the contrary, he is simple, even humble.... There flows from him warmth, understanding and humour. There is no spiritual pride. His bowing down to others, washing the feet of lepers and the poor, and his taking upon himself menial tasks, are genuine, and sometimes involve severe physical demands.” (p. 378) Listen to one of Baba’s comments on this point: “When a man admits his true greatness... that is in itself an expression of humility. He accepts his greatness as completely natural, and merely expresses what he is, just as a man would not hesitate to admit that he is a man. If a truly great man, who knows himself to be truly great, were to deny his greatness, this would belittle what he indubitably is.” (Listen, Humanity, p. 223)
A critic might rejoin that Baba’s “Divine Self-talk” was difficult to hear because it sometimes featured heavy apocalyptic references to Baba’s destiny, with themes that a psychologist might see as evidence of paranoia (“delusions of grandeur mixed with persecution fantasies”) . Thus, Baba spoke repeatedly about how the breaking of his Silence would be the most important event of the age, and that he would be humiliated and persecuted by evildoers, even killed by assassins—none of which happened as he prophesied (unless one wants to say that these things were happening on a subtle plane of energy, imperceptible to normal senses).
However, I daresay that a study of Baba’s lifetime of authentic love, healing charisma, austere unattachment, and tireless sacrificing of himself for humanity, allows one to conclude that he was not suffering from any mental disorders. Far from it! Rather, his high-flown manner of speaking about himself appears to be yet one more way in which he riveted and tested his followers, separating the wheat from the chaff. It is most probable that, like a few other masters who made grand references to themselves (Baba’s own "awakening Masters" Babajan and Sai Baba of Shirdi come to mind), he was inviting disciples to be one-pointed and focused on the Divine Grace coming through his particular personified form so that they would stay long enough for real work to be accomplished. Otherwise, they might wander off to another Guru when restless, bored, idly curious, or angry at Baba’s “school-of-hard-knocks” method of spiritual direction.
In other words, one way of viewing Meher Baba’s talk about himself is to see this as an antidote to so many seekers’ casual “window-shopping” attitude. By regarding Baba as the sole Avatar of the Age, they would be highly motivated to remain with him for their lifetime and not lose the precious chance to burn off their sanskaras in the unique, fiery spiritual school of testing and obedience that Baba offered.
Of course, beyond all our interpretations and rationalizations, the simple truth could be: Meher Baba was, as claimed, Avatar, the Avatar of the age.
Baba-loving scholar Allan Cohen has written, “Ultimately, the future of the Baba movement depends on the validity of Meher Baba’s identity as Avatar…. In the event that Baba was not communicating the truth, there is every likelihood that the Meher Baba movement will fade into historical oblivion as one small tree in a forest of twentieth-century spiritual events.” (The Mastery of Consciousness, p. 162)
I would respectfully disagree with this assessment; I don’t think we need judge Baba’s spiritual status by the growth or decline of the number of adherents in his movement over time. Meher Baba may very well have been an Avatar, if not the Avatar, for this age, yet not be destined to have a large devotional movement in his name swell over time, like the religious movements that grew up in the name of Jesus, Krishna, the Buddha, and Muhammad. In India’s modern era, the great spiritual masters Ramakrishna (1836-86), Sai Baba of Shirdi (d. 1918), Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), and the contemporary woman Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi, b. 1953) all have been regarded by their followers as an Avatar, and their spiritual movements are, at the dawn of the third millennium, larger than the Meher Baba movement—this is especially true of the Sai sect in India and the Ramakrishna and Amma movements in both India and the West. And the number of aspirants who are being influenced by Ramana Maharshi's teachings is also growing faster than the Meher Baba movement. Ultimately, numbers of adherents mean nothing.
In the final analysis, Meher Baba said that he is Love, understandable only through Love. Though his fiery side as spiritual preceptor may appear to the neophyte as a lack of love, Baba’s mandali and devoted Baba-lovers know otherwise. They know that Baba’s fire serves as an initiatory portal to melt away the egoic syndrome of separation, leaving the one Divine in Its archetypal play of Love.
The Lover and Beloved may seem like two separate beings, but, secret of secrets, they are really OneSelf. It is the One God playing all the parts in this whimsical world-appearance in the primordial Divine game of hide-and-seek, as Baba himself communicated so many times over the decades.
When you see Meher Baba’s image smiling at you in films, photos, precious dreams or memories, it is really the Self loving ItSelf, and silently saying loud and clear, “You can’t fool me—I know Who You Really Are! YOU ARE GOD, I AM GOD, THERE IS ONLY GOD. LOVE ME AND BE ME.”
3. Extensive Selections from Meher Baba’s Delightful Teachings on Divine Realization
A Treasury of Meher Baba's Wisdom and Love
Compiled by Timothy Conway
From: Meher Prabhu—Lord Meher (Volume One)
[We begin with two early poem-songs by Baba:]
When the self is annihilated, duality disappears—
And the lover himself becomes God!
The heart has only one place,
Either the Beloved is in the heart,
Or the heart is in the Beloved—
Both are the same place…. //
The ways of the Masters are peculiar,
They make one laugh and weep simultaneously.
Outwardly they appear different,
But inwardly all of them have love.
There is abuse on the Masters’ lips,
But blessings in their hearts. //
Some say that the abode of the Beloved is in the tavern,
Some say it is in the mosque.
Oh Huma, what are you searching for outside?
Understand that God is within.
(An early devotional ghazal song composed by Meher Baba, circa 1916; Vol. 1, 234-5)
[Ode to Hazrat Babajan, who first awakened Meher to God-consciousness:]
Oh Beloved Master, you are the Emperor!
I am eternally grateful to you.
If I had a hundred thousand lives—
I would sacrifice every one of them at your feet. //
You drowned me in the Eternal Ocean of Oneness
And transformed me into Ocean like yourself.
In the twinkling of an eye, you transformed a lover into God—
God I have become! //
Oh Emperor of Masters! Oh Ocean of Mercy!
Oh Perfection Personified!
Oh Perfect Master, if your merciful glance lights on anyone—
A beggar can turn into a king! //
The gods and goddesses—the angels—the celestial devas and men of the heavens
Are all awed at the brilliance of your divinity! //
Oh Enlightened Master of the three worlds!
Even if I were to change my body into the sandals of your feet,
It would be nothing in comparison with what
You have done for Merwan!
(A ghazal song composed by Meher Baba, circa 1917; Vol. 1, 238-9)
[To his deeply troubled childhood friend Behli/Baily, miraculously saved by Baba at the last moment from committing suicide:]
Let the past be gone. Why worry about past wrongs? Every person has done something wrong… God is there to forgive. (Vol. 1, 274)
From: Ramjoo’s Diary (from the early 1920s, when Baba still spoke)
One must have a connection with the Master to receive the highest state of existence. It was this connection with Babajan that gave me the Experience in a second, without any striving or longing for it. (Jan. 26, 1922, 35-36)
O God! Behind the curtain [of life] a wonderful game is being played. In the eyes of the ignorant persons, the apparent has assumed the spectacle of reality. (Sept. 11, 1922, 68)
[I must] keep you awake in the early hours of the morning, specially between 4 and 5 a.m. It is the most valuable and important time from the spiritual point of view.... In fact, from the yogic point of view, it is imperative to be awake in the early hours of the morning. Although I am not going to ask you to follow any yoga or any particular religious ritual, ... I want you simply to keep awake in these hours. ... Attend the daily necessities and take cold baths. ... [Then] pass the major portion of the time repeating the name of the Almighty... according to the respective faiths, viz.: Allah, Yazdan, Ram, etc. But it is to be done mentally and while sitting in one fixed position.... The eyes should never be closed.... Keep on repeating in the mind the Divine Name with a free heart... This is my first spiritual instruction of its kind and therein fail not. (Oct. 1, 1922, 73-4)
A Perfect Master neither curses nor blesses, he works. Saints and advanced souls can be said to bless; and hence, simply their words bring about the desired results. ... A Perfect Master is rarely required to put his mind in things worldly; though sometimes he has to do so for the sake of his Circle. ... A Perfect Master can reach to the very source of anything and everything that he cares to know—that is, puts his mind into it. But generally he does not do it. The interest he seems to take in the things that belong to this world by word or deed is simply off-handed, however serious it may look outwardly. The mind that he seems to engage on such occasions is the mind devoid of divinity. He simply does things AS THEY OCCUR TO HIM at the time, almost mechanically, without thinking about it! (Oct. 3-4, 1922, 77-8)
When a Master is in the most perfect and peaceful internal state, or when some internal work is nearing completion and success, there is sometimes an overflow of the internal state externally. The external outburst is the shadow of the internal perfect state and is quite the opposite, and thus takes the form of abusive language, beating, etc. But whoever receives these is a fortunate man since these abuses and beatings work a good deal of benefit for him, specially in external affairs. Now you people, since your matter is settled and your connection with me is of the day of beginning, that no power can alter, you have no need of these outbursts in the form of abuses and beatings, which I have completely put a stop to; and now if you cannot even bear my words, then it will be troublesome to both you and me. In that case, I shall have to give up mixing with people altogether, and then it will go very hard with you all. (Jan. 31, 1923, 145)
[“Baba said that an ocean of worldly joy is merely but the shadow (not even the drop) of a single, small drop from the vast and infinite Ocean of Divine Bliss!” (Oct. 3, 1922, 77)]
One who is a slave to his mind belongs to the ordinary run of human beings; and one who conquers his mind, but at the same time is overpowered by it, is called a majzoob [God-intoxicated soul]. One who has advanced towards Truth belongs to the spiritual planes. The first is a worldly state of mind and the second is a Godly state of mind, i.e., a state of mind with divinity manifested in it. But the Perfect Master, however, takes up his stand quite apart from all these three states; and is in such a position that he can enjoy and experience all the states of the mind whenever he likes to do so. (Oct. 4, 1922, 77)
A yogi, even if he attains the highest yogic state... does not reach freedom, because there is still for him the sanskaras (impressions) to finish up with. Sanskaras are the impressions left behind while doing any good or bad action. Even a thought creates a sanskara. Talking, hearing, thinking, seeing, eating, sleeping, etc.—in fact, even subtle movements—cause sanskaras or impressions which have to be experienced [again] ... unless removed away root and branch by a Master’s grace or blessing. Our present existence and all the related experiences of pain and pleasure, virtue and sin, about it are the results of our past sanskaras, or amal as termed by the Muslims.... Our present existence is the mere unfoldment of our past subtle impressions in gross form. And again, it is our present gross actions that recreate impressions, and so on.... Good actions bind a man with a golden chain, and bad actions with iron and spiked chains. But the chain is there in either cases; the man has not been set free! Yoga or other studies are good actions; and they give the person a better chance in the next incarnation; but it does not set him free or give liberation. Therefore, to have liberation, one must neither have virtue, nor vice, on one’s credit or debit side. But it should be a clean slate to reach the state described in the Urdu couplet: “we shall not go either in heaven or hell...” And this is impossible to reach without the grace of the Guru. For a Master, it is the work of a moment...: “One moment, half a moment and even half of a half of a moment in contact with a Perfect Master, then 10 million of your sins are washed off.” (Oct. 4, 1922, 79-80)
I have held out to you expectations of something much higher than this dream of paradise and hell. By remaining with me, you hope to understand Truth, that is, God, and thus fathom the secret of the universe. This knowledge is impossible for anyone to obtain without the help of a Master. Individual attempts in this direction are of no avail without the guidance of a Realized Guide. ... Priest [Jalaladdin] Rumi would never have become Master Rumi if he had not become the slave of Shams-Tabriz. One whose aim is God, what does he care for heaven or hell? (Oct. 5, 1922, 81)
Where there is ego, there is no God, and where there is God, there is no egoism. (Oct. 6, 1922, 86)
[To early disciple Gustadji:] You must concern yourself with doing just what I tell you to do.... If I ask you to do a certain thing the consequences of which I am quite ignorant, then I am no Master at all, and no earthly good can come out of your staying with me.... Does it befit you to suggest that my orders and actions are at random, with no meaning in them? I have not gathered the whole of the mandali [merely] to try them, much less yourself. [Upasani] Maharaj made me sit in filth after Experience. Where was the necessity of it? Should I consider that as a trial in my case? I don’t intend to try anyone. I only ask you to do just what I tell you. In so doing, you will help me in my work.... Don’t try to read my actions; you will never fathom them. (Oct. 7, 1922, 88-9)
You are simply required to go against your will and wish, and not to do certain things which you have been doing up to now, and to do certain things which you have no liking for! For example, on feeling hungry, you used to eat; and now you are asked to eat when you have no liking to take food, and not to touch it when you have a craving appetite for it. You used to sleep in daytime, now you are not to do so. Similarly, you were never used to physical labor; while here, at times, you are asked to work in the blazing hot sun. These are instances of your going against your mind and in this way you will gradually learn to control it. Look at the Indian leaders ... like Gandhi and the Ali brothers. From a sense of patriotism and for the sake of the nation, they have left everything of the luxuries of life and are undergoing the hardships of prison life for a long period. For the sake of their country, and the good things of the world, which is a mere dream, these leaders are suffering so much. Just imagine how much more you should do for God, the very source of all that is! Your term of so-called imprisonment [at Manzil-e-Meem ashram] with me is only for ten months, wherein you are required to go a little against your mind. It is the least you are to do to attain or reach the Highest. ... People have discarded the world, and have undergone untold hardships for the sake of God; but here you should admire your good fortune that you are to realize Him so very easily. (Oct. 8, 1922, 92)
This whole universe, with all its vastness and grandeur, is nothing but mere imagination! (Oct. 8, 1922, 93)
There is nothing outside ourselves! All the seven heavens and spheres, and earths and planes are within ourselves. The Perfect Master gives us nothing. He shows us the treasure that is within us. (Feb. 3, 1923, 148)
If Zoroaster were to come again in this material world, he would find it very difficult to recognize his own religious tenets as practiced by the present-day followers of his creed. The same is true of all religions. The priests have mutilated the original to gain their own motives. (Oct 8, 1922, 93)
Why worry yourself about the sorrows, griefs, or pleasures of this world which have no cause behind them other than mere imagination? Be a passive spectator of what is passing around you, and keep the mind free and happy. (Oct. 13, 1922, 105)
Prayers and worship are only meant for God; while you are so much lost in the formality of the thing and its details that leaving aside God, you worship the prayers. (Oct. 14, 1922, 109)
A Perfect Master can see three things as pleases his fancy: with the external eyes, he can see this world and universe; with the internal eye, he sees God, and again with the external eyes, he actually sees all that exists as emanating in the form of innumerable circles out of himself through the point of the third eye. (Oct. 17, 1922, 113)
[Baba said one generally passes through three stages in this line (of spirituality):] The first is shauq, i.e., fondness and intense desire to know and experience the unknown and the consequent pleasant expectations. Then comes the second stage, that of disgust, disappointment and apathy, and the third and last stage is that of Realization. All [of you mandali] are now in the second stage, which is generally a long one; hence you should put up with it cheerfully, since you cannot avoid it or remedy it. Don’t leave me in any case. (Jan. 15, 1923, 137)
To be rid of sanskaric bonds (impressions which determine one’s desires and actions in the present lifetime) and freed of the illusions of ignorance are the first essentials of true spiritual awakening. Likewise, renunciation was the watchword of all the greatest teachers of the world, Muhammad and Zoroaster, Christ and Krishna alike, though in different wordings. But people take it only literally; the real spirit of the word is not understood. It is the mind, the real innermost man, that must renounce; that is the root from where all desires spring; the mind must become poor, empty, and renunciation of the highest order is attained. When the mind is spiritually enlightened and is fortunate enough to retain the ordinary consciousness, ... in that state, whatever actions are taken, they are for the benefit and advancement of others. (May 5, 1923, 187)
[A poem by Baba:] It is the splendour of God that exists in the four elements of nature, earth, air, water and fire. / You are the Master and the Lord of the two worlds—corporeal and spiritual. In every atom is concealed the light of your existence. ... Love exists in everything and in every being. Praise be to the Love that pervades every home and hearth. Religion and society know not what pure love is in which the Beloved’s image is ever fully present in contemplation. Love is beyond riches, power, intelligence and (normal) consciousness. A king and a beggar are of equal status in the realm of love. (April 8, 1924, 306)
One kind of realized being crossing all barriers of lust, anger and greed, safely reaches the other side, i.e., God, and remains there drowned; that is, he cannot help others to reach the goal achieved by himself. The other kind of realized being is he who, crossing all the lines, reaches the other side (God), and again returns to the starting point, once again crossing the lines—this time for others. So he who returns—Perfect Master—can alone take with him many more to the other end (God) in the twinkling of an eye. Thus, a Perfect Master after getting freed from Illusion has again to involve himself in Illusion to free others from it. (April 15, 1924, 310)
Maya [Illusion] conquers man in ignorance, while man rules over Maya in Knowledge. (April 18, 1924, 313)
All of you still possess too much of selfishness.... Give up self idea and always be for others. (April 18, 1924, 312)
No matter however harshly the opposite party treats you, you should be calm. Never mind how much you are found fault with, blamed or spoken piercing words, you should bear all with patience. This is real bravery and courage. Man can make a whole army yield to him, but he cannot overcome his own wrath. There are three things, as explained by Ramakrishna Paramahansa, that keep a person away from God. They are lust, greed and anger. The first two, lust and greed, may be overcome, but the control of the temper is the hardest of all. If you overcome these three enemies, you are a saint. (April 22, 1924, 316)
After Realization, Man beholds all [worlds and objects] like small bubbles issuing forth from his own Self, i.e., he experiences himself bigger than every thing and being. He finds he is the main source—the Maker of All. The material planes are different but the spiritual plane is one throughout. (April 23, 1924, 317)
Just as a thirsty man in the desert under the hot sun values water more than a heap of pearls and diamonds placed before him, so also a true lover of God wants Him alone and considers every other object as a trifle before God. (April 25, 1924, 318)
If you realize but a minute particle of that Knowledge, you will derive inexpressible bliss. Every external object will impart you happiness. Every substance will tell you its story in Knowledge. This whole universe which now appears as misery will shine forth as heaven. (May 3, 1924, 323)
From: Meher Prabhu—Lord Meher (Volumes Three – Four, 1925-32)
Jesus … was perfect and divine, God-incarnate… What did Jesus really say? To the multitude he said, “God is in heaven; try to go there,” and to reach that end he said to overcome certain temptations and sufferings. To his followers he said, “God is everywhere; try to see Him,” and gave explanations to that effect. To the close circle of apostles, he said, “God is in me and in you too,” and actually revealed this to them. … What Jesus meant was to leave all and follow him; that means to know him, see him, experience him.’[...] To the masses [Christ] declared that God was above—in heaven. To his outer circle Christ declared that he was God, but to his inner circle he disclosed that they were God. (Vol. 3, 1034, 746)
If someone abuses us or insults us and becomes the cause of our suffering, or if we are harassed in any way, we should bow down to such a person instead of reacting angrily with him, because he is the means of wiping out our sanskaras. (Vol. 3, 772)
[When his 33-year-old brother Jamshed died on Feb. 27, 1926, Baba was unperturbed. The sorrowful mandali wondered why. Baba replied with a discourse:] Jamshed is not dead; his body has died. Everyone thinks he is dead, but I say he has taken birth! ... If you had divine sight, you would be fully convinced and see for yourself that after the dropping of the physical body, the soul, which is always immortal, is always there. And death does not make the slightest difference in this as you believe. Everyone is feeling that Jamshed left this world in the prime of life. But one has to go sooner or later, and no one but God knows the exact right moment. How can you say he was young? He was thousands of years old and God knows how many births he will take on this earth. Whatever you saw before your eyes was only the gross form of Jamshed... If you wish me to be a partner in your dense ignorance—forget it! Death is common to all. It is a necessary step forward toward Real Life—Eternal, Infinite Existence. The soul merely changes into a new abode; thus, dying is nothing more than changing your coat.... It is like an actor who plays different parts in different dramas.... Worldly-minded people do not become upset when a person goes to sleep at night, simply because they expect to see him awaken alive again the next morning. Then why not exercise the same indifference when he sleeps the sleep of death, since he is bound to awaken alive sooner or later in a new body?... The sword of death has been swinging freely since the beginning of man’s history. Every day I see hundreds and thousands of my brothers dying without feeling anything for it, and Jamshed’s death is no exception to this. All admit that death is unavoidable...and though the fact is universally acknowledged and experienced, at the time of its happening, people immediately start crying. It is either madness or weakness of mind. Nothing lasts, everything is indefinite in this world except the jivatma (individual soul), who is subject to birth and deaths.... This come-and-go game, the alternating experiences of life and gathering and spending of sanskaras, is really quite difficult to understand.... Jamshed is not dead. If he were really dead [to all egoic karmas], all should rejoice over it, since it would mean Real Life for him—Eternal, Infinite Existence. Unless we die, meaning our ego is annihilated, we cannot realize Divinity. So all this expressing of sorrow and regret is bunk. Although you find me moving about among you, playing with you, and in fact doing all that a supposedly living man does, I am really dead! ... If you die once, truly, there will be no more life and death for you since you become One with God. Because I am dead I am alive! ... Die, all of you, in the real sense of the word so that you may live ever after. The stopping of the breath and the absence of pulse are not real dying. It is no use letting your earthly body die; all your desires and longings should die. That is, seek out the death of maya first and become sanskara-less. Then alone you will have died the real death and have been born into eternity. ... All the wise ones, holy ones, sufis, saints, pirs and prophets, by surrendering every worldly thing to God, have reached the Goal—union with God. ... If you have love for the dead, it should be selfless. The dead do not want your expressions of sadness. Manifest such love for them that they would be pleased and at peace. If you want the consciousness of their souls to progress, express selfless love. Do not make them unhappy by your weeping and wailings. ... He who is convinced that after death there is birth again never worries or sorrows. What is the use of sorrowing over dried-up crops in the field? By dying after death and thereby annihilating the mind you will gain both worlds. Otherwise, it is a never-ending cycle of taking birth and dying. There is no escape.... So what is the sense of weeping? One can do nothing except submit to God’s will.... The easiest way to immortality is contact with a spiritual Master, and the simplest requirement is intense longing for realizing God. For this, persistent effort is needed.... The simplest and easiest way is to keep the company of saints and the contact of a Perfect Master. Any service rendered under their orders gives you inner freedom, after which there is nothing further to be gained.... Any small vessel attached to a big steamer will go miles with it in storm or stress. If that small vessel were to sail alone, it would take years to reach the Goal; not only that, but it might be caught in a storm of rough seas and actually sink.... Only the Masters of Truth can make you cross over to the other side. Their help is the greatest boon for small crafts to quickly reach the Goal. (Vol. 3, 780-3)
If you snap your connection with the world, you become free of all worries. However, if you maintain any deep connection, worries will surmount you.... Worldly involvements are always full of unnecessary problems and difficulties and are the cause of continuous anxieties. (Vol. 3, 785)
When intelligence thinks of Itself, it realizes Its Self and is God. When it thinks about imagination, it is the world, mind, body and ignorance…. The whole world is enmeshed in the grip of lust for women and wealth, while the real aim of life is to achieve the Truth. Unless God is realized, the purpose of acquiring a human body is frustrated, and the real object of life remains unfulfilled. But Realization is impossible until intelligence is purified and freed of imagination. This can only be achieved by keeping the company of saints. For this reason, intimate contact with a Master is always necessary for Realization. But such Perfect Ones are very, very rare, while the world abounds with numerous hypocrites and frauds who pose as divine guides. (Vol. 3, 786-7)
If I were to tell you that you are Ishwar—God—you would not believe it, because your ridiculous idea of God is some old man with a white beard, watching you from an armchair in heaven! You say to yourselves, “How can I, a lowly human, be God Himself?” You are afraid of the very idea that you are God! But it is a fact. It is your ignorance of that knowledge—the false impression of the mind that you are humans—which prevents you from experiencing that you are God…. Every one of you is God, but you just do not know it! (Vol. 3, 789)
Before the veil was torn asunder and I became God-conscious, I experienced the greatest electric-like shock that created for some time severe vibrations, which are indescribable. This was followed by intense darkness and finally there was Light. The greatest imagination fails to conceive of the idea of this Effulgence, before which the light of the worldly sun is like a shadow of a drop of the infinite ocean of dazzling Light. Similarly, the darkness I experienced when I had my Realization cannot be described. The world experiences light and darkness, but what I am explaining bears no similarity to these. Very few persons can see the Real Darkness and Real Light. (Vol. 3, 794)
By keeping company with a God-Realized being, a person’s worldly sanskaras get burned up through the Master’s spiritual heat.... When we are completely free from the bindings of sanskaras, we realize God. (Vol. 3, 796-7)
The circumstances which you find yourselves placed in are very difficult. On the one hand, worldly attachments allure you, and on the other, the Guru draws you toward him. In the end, it is always the Guru who wins this tug-of-war and frees you from the bondage of maya [illusion]. In spite of that, the allurements of maya are no less formidable. Despite all my explanations and warnings, if a beautiful lady happens to come here, you all will surely gape at her. This is forgivable at present because you are under maya’s control. But I tell you, try your best to get free of the bindings of maya.... It is no joke to escape from maya’s jaws! Only the blessing of a Sadguru can save you. In the twinkling of an eye, the Sadguru can turn maya to dust! He has such powers. Without the Sadguru’s help, there would be no end to births and deaths. Not that he puts out the fire of your illusion, your mind, but he liberates you from it. If he taps you on the forehead to realize you, you become God-Realized! You do not have the least notion of the divine powers which a Sadguru holds in his hands.... Leave everything—meditation, spiritual exercises, the repetition of God’s name—everything which is a burden to you. These practices will only confuse you more.... Nothing is obtainable without the grace of a Sadguru. So surrender to him, obey him with all love and faith. Serve him and you will reach the Beyond. (Vol. 3, 802-4)
As long as you do not disregard your likes and dislikes, and as long as you do not become indifferent to being kicked, spat upon, slandered and ridiculed, you cannot hope for God-Realization. You have to burn up your ego. You have to become dust! Only the contact of a Sadguru can bring this about. (Vol. 3, 808)
Take a movie in which a villain annoys an innocent, decent man. He catches him, harasses him and wants to kill him. The spectators are fascinated by such drama.... If the victim overcomes his dilemma, the spectators feel happy; but if the villain gets the upper hand, they feel miserable. When the show is over, they realize it was merely a film—a picture on the screen—and the feelings that surged within them while watching it were without any basis. It was a mirage in which they were absorbed. Your life is like that. It is a mere movie which has no substance to it for it is false—made up. All that you see about you is absolutely nothing. Everything is false—an illusion, a play, a film, a mirage! Therefore, I repeatedly emphasize to one and all, do not be attracted by maya; always pray sincerely to God and remember Him. Hold fast to my feet and I will lead you on the path to Realization. (Vol. 3, 808)
The real meaning of religion is to know God, to see God and to be one with God. Everything else about religion in an exercise in rites and rituals. (Vol. 3, 809)
The number of my devotees is great, but the number of my disciples is much less. The devotee seeks the pleasure of his own devotion, while the disciple’s only duty is to obey the commands of the Master, which is much more difficult. Devotees select their own Master and surrender to him. A Master selects his own disciples. Therefore, many can become devotees, but only a very few can become disciples. (Vol. 3, 809)
[To a sadhu who complained about taking food only once every 24 hours and keeping silence, a regimen given by Baba when he expressed to Baba his desire to see God:] “God is not some cheap thing to be had for the asking! Superhuman patience and suffering are required to attain Him.” (Vol. 3, 811)
[When asked about J. Krishnamurti and the Theosophists who promoted him:] Krishnamurti, a New World Teacher? God forbid! You cannot compare Sadguru Ramakrishna of Calcutta with Krishnamurti. Ramakrishna was Rama and Krishna personified! Krishnamurti is living in all majesty and splendor, pomp and power, and moving about England in aristocratic, fashionable circles, playing tennis and golf, leading a most comfortable life. He does not have the slightest idea—not even a wisp—of the Real Truth. So it is also with these funny, showy theosophists. Their greatness lies only in editorship—writing and speaking with high-sounding words about planes, powers, colors, secret doctrine, society and caste. Truth is far, far beyond this. If you desire to aspire for Realization, you should hold your very life in the palm of your hand, ready to give it up at any moment! Then alone will you be deemed worthy and be able to experience Truth. (Vol. 3, 816-7)
[Criticizing the fanatical conversion attempts in India by the Salvation Army and American Christian Mission:] Truth has nothing to do with religion.... Truth is naked and unrestrained and can only be experienced by cutting loose maya’s limbs—lust, anger and greed. ... What is the advantage in expanding a religion until its followers number in the millions? This is the Kali Yuga [age of darkness]. See the horror done in the cause of religion. Look at the massacres born out of ignorance and cruelty occurring between Hindus and Muslims, all for the sake of religion. At the same time, many false prophets have appeared and hypocrisy is rampant. (Vol. 3, 817-8)
If I wished, I could give Realization to the members of my circle immediately. But giving this experience abruptly does not enable them to come down for duty [within the manifest world]. ... Suppose you give Realization to your hand and then, mystified, it stops working as before. What would do its work? This is why Sadgurus always prepare their circle [of disciples] gradually and what is being done is unknown [consciously] to them... For you, no yoga and no bhoga! No spiritual exercise and no worldly enjoyment! All at once and quite in the dark, completely unknown to you, you are being taken up! What the Sadguru does for the members of his circle is to weaken and clear away their intellects and egos gradually, establishing a permanence to their eventual annihilation. He allows the minds of his circle members to remain because the Sadguru’s working is continuously going on behind their minds.... Remember, the real yogi is he whom nothing of the world can touch; he remains unconcerned and unaffected in all surroundings and circumstances. (Vol. 3, 819)
I am Prabhu—the Lord. I am all Knowledge-Power-Bliss. You see me, talk with me, and touch me, but I dwell in Infinity. My state is indescribable.” (Vol. 3, p. 820)
Suppose you come along and mistake a string for a snake. This mistake creates maya. But if we see that the string is only a string and nothing else, then where is maya? It is only your false supposition that is really maya. In the end, when it is found that it is only a string, you laugh at your false presupposition because your fears are gone—the illusion is removed. In the same way, when one attains Realization, he laughs at these false notions of maya—the world and all its connections—for they are totally false and not real.... maya is sheer illusion—the force of imagination. Where there is lust, there is maya. Where there is anger, there is maya. Where there is greed, there is maya. He who renounces maya finds everything! Do not be a slave to maya. Subjugate maya and you will see God in all His perfection.... This maya is so tyrannical and powerful that even the best of persons succumb to its lures. The real heroes who eat [maya] up are very rare. (Vol. 3, 821)
The meaning of being God-Realized is to experience the sound sleep state in the awake state. [...] The original state of God is the sound sleep state; and to experience God, one must experience this sound sleep while fully awake. In fact, this state is indescribable. (Vol. 3, 823, 874)
Sadgurus consider human deaths trivial and insignificant. For them, the whole world is a small thing, just a point. Then why worry for a man being dead? Besides, to Sadgurus the dropping of the body is no death at all. It is simply dropping one form and taking another. ... Thousands and hundreds of thousands of such bodies fall daily and the same number take bodies again simultaneously. The Sadgurus are really dead to illusion and so are really living in eternity. So what is this dropping of human bodies ... to them? The mind must die, not the body. (Vol. 3, 828)
[On religious rites:] I want you to know that all your [Hindu] clapping, bhajan singing, tying the Parsi kusti and [Muslim] praying namaz are merely drills. Only take one name of God; give up anger, lust and greed. This is all that is necessary. But the orthodox section of any religion would blow out my brains if they heard me uttering such words! And I pity them all. Why? Because they are so narrow-minded, so shallow in their vision. … The very foundation of all my explanations is sanskaras, which no religion has explained. [Actually, sages of Buddhism and Vedanta do speak of the samskaras.] Nowhere are sanskaras explained so elaborately or so eloquently. [This is actually true—Baba has explained the sanskaras more thoroughly than any sage in history.] (834-5)
What does it matter to the Sadguru if someone is dead or alive? To him both are equally false as both are mere dreams—illusion. (Vol. 3, 881)
As Masters, our ways are quite opposite to the ways of the world. We outwardly harass those who love us, and we do nothing to those who despise us. We nourish our enemies and kill our friends! ... We crush the eyeballs of our lovers underneath our heels and ignore our foes. We mercilessly tyrannize our lovers and even murder them [sic]. But no one has the right or the daring to ask us why we do it. (Vol. 3, 833)
Every thought, word and action of a human being creates sanskaras [impressions]... Good thoughts, words and deeds create good sanskaras, and bad ones create bad sanskaras.... They can never be stopped unless one is fortunate to have the grace of a Sadguru and become Realized. Even the great yogis with their years of penances—even those who have reached the sixth plane—are unable to rid themselves of their sanskaric impressions. What they can do during meditation and samadhi [trance] is to stop the production and growth of new sanskaras. But what of the past store of sanskaras accumulated for years and ages? ... They can only be destroyed by the grace of a God-Realized Master who destroys them by uprooting the mind and thus making a person Realized. When such great yogis cannot manage to destroy their past sanskaras, what of you ordinary human beings? If you ask me, I would say, “Do nothing.” And if you do anything, do it without caring about the result. ... To stop the creation of new sanskaras and to destroy the past ones, have the company and sahavas of a Guru who is Realized. A Guru who is God-Conscious is like a living furnace, burning away everything—good, bad, past, present and future—all sanskaras. ... After a person becomes a member of the circle [around a Sadguru or an Avatar], he or she attains Realization in one hundred or two hundred years. During this period, according to fate—the spending of the remaining sanskaras after coming into the circle—a person may have to take one, two, three or four more births. (Vol. 3, 882-3)
[On false gurus:] Those who pretend to be divine personages or spiritual masters and who have an eye on the riches and women of others should be cut to pieces! There is no sin in doing it. On the contrary, by such a devout act, innocent people are saved from their clutches. [...] What earthly use is it misguiding and making others believe a person is a mahatma (advanced soul) or saint, when he is not really so? To be a Master a person has to be one with God! He must be Realized! From the spiritual standpoint, it is a great sin and a crime to make people believe one to be a guru or a Master when one has no experience. This is misleading people and the worst possible fraud! A person should first be one with God and experience Divinity; then it is appropriate to be called a Master. But to do so without experience is so great a sin that it is unimaginable. (Vol. 3, 768, 904)
[On Feb. 27, 1927, Baba made a quizzical statement to the mandali, apparently as a form of spiritual theatre:] You asked how the world is to know that I am God in human form, a Perfect master or a great spiritual authority, and how you are to convince people of this. Hearing this I now find that neither am I God nor a Perfect Master, which up to now I have been claiming to be. I was doing it only with the view to make people believe in me. I am an ordinary man. Those who have been harboring hopes of spiritual advancement, or expecting benediction, have now nothing of the sort to gain from me. When I myself have not experienced God, how could I make others have His darshan? So those of you who want to stay with me should stay on your own accord with the ... clear understanding that you will gain nothing from my hands. I hereby withdraw all the agreements, oral promises and sacred oaths I have taken from you and make you free of all restraint imposed on you by me. Still if any of you wish to be with me, it should be with the knowledge that I am not God but merely a friend; and in that case, you should not have the slightest expectation of any spiritual or material benefit from me. You will get only food and clothing and nothing else... What I want to impress upon you is that everything in this world is absolutely nothing. It is all unreal. It is only a dream, an illusion. I have known and experienced this much and there is nothing beyond. I do not wish to say anything about God. So I will only keep a few suitable people around me and keep them away from worldly attachments such as lust, greed and anger.” (Vol. 3, 906)
[To a group of visiting Christians:] Do you follow the teachings of Christ? ... Christ’s teaching is to leave all and follow him. This means that you have to give up anger, lust and greed. Have you done that? [“No,” they answered.] I am a real Christian because I have renounced everything. (Vol. 3, 907)
Know that to see or realize God is actually death—death in the real sense of the word [leaving the personality]. (908)
The worries and troubles of the world are due to thoughts. Thoughts and thoughts! Thinking should be stopped. I am going to take upon myself the thinking of the world which will severely affect my health. A time will come when I will be so disabled that the mandali will have to feed me and administer water to my lips. All will worry about me, and except for a few, the majority of you will go away. (Vol. 3, 922)
Until God-Realization, this life and world of existence is like a game of cards. When you play cards you feel pleased or disappointed depending on winning or losing the game. You become so excited and absorbed in playing that you forget everything else. But once you are back attending to your worldly duties again, you forget about the game of cards and all its pleasures, disappointments, concerns and anxieties. It is also similar in the case of the Realized Ones. To them the very life and existence of the world is a mere game of cards. Worldly success and failure, happiness and misery are no more lasting or significant than the emotions you experience during a game of cards. (Vol. 3, 942)
[A sadhu staying temporarily at Meherabad went away after Ramjoo made fun of his chanting OM.] If the sadhu went away at being disturbed, how could he have attained Realization? Realization is for heroes who, while the knife is slashing their throats, take pleasure in the pain of dying…. But you men should learn to behave in a civil manner with outsiders who are more or less spiritually inclined. These people are shocked when they come across such uncouth men as yourselves. They are to be handled gently and brought into line. In their eyes, you people really look like rogues. (Vol. 3, 957)
[Chiding one of the mandali who became angry:] It is not befitting to get so angry. He who fails to control his temper is a weakling. To conquer anger is true courage. (Vol. 3, 973)
Childhood is the ideal period of life in which to take an interest in spirituality. The impressions received at a young age become deeply ingrained. Divine beauty, grandeur and bliss should always be impressed upon children, so much so as to fire their imaginations to the highest pitch about God and His greatness.... Adults rarely attain lasting enthusiasm or longing. (Vol. 3, 982)
Without the sanskaras being totally eliminated there is no spiritual liberation. To dispose of sanskaras one has to create reverse sanskaras, which are opposite in nature. Opposite impressions reverse the sanskaric makeup of the mind….. But the mind never dies of itself…. The Sadguru … is required to deal with the mind and all its mischief…. If by hurting a person temporarily you provide a permanent healing, this apparently cruel act of yours is, in fact, a blessing. In the same way, suppose that by rendering a temporary healing you create a permanent hurt; this apparently blessed act of yours is, in fact, a curse. [Baba gives the example of a surgeon initially causing pain in order to heal.] So the Sadguru is at first apparently considered an enemy when he tries to remove sins and wipe out desires and sanskaras of the aspirant by forcing strict discipline on him, renunciation, et cetera. But when the bliss of union with the Beloved God is attained through his grace, he is considered a true friend. (Vol. 3, 991)
[Q: Why did God create this (universe)?] He did not create it. It started automatically! First there was God and nothing else. In God was everything—Experience, Knowledge, Power and Existence. But He had no consciousness that He was God. All this bother and headache you see around you is to gain that consciousness. (Vol. 3, 855)
[From a talk on Dec. 2, 1927:] How was the universe created? It was automatic. There are innumerable universes which are interlaced with one another; one universe creates another in a chain reaction. [Many modern cosmologists in the 1990s, subscribing to the theory of infinite inflation and quantum mechanics, have come to the same conclusion about the universe really being part of a multiverse.] These universes are so numerous that even Sadgurus cannot count them. I once tried to count them while at Sakori with Upasni Maharaj [in 1921]…. These universes come out of the Sadguru and merge back into him after aeons. This is called the mahapralaya. When the universes disappear in mahapralaya, they are no longer in gross form, but they remain within the universal mind. Every individual gross mind rests in the universal mind. Though this is all an illusion, still the individual souls of all beings that inhabit the universes remain within the universal mind. And after aeons the evolution starts again and every jeevatma (incarnate soul) gradually takes form in accordance with the consciousness he had before the cosmic event of mahapralaya occurred. For example, in deep sleep you are unconscious of both your body and the world. For you this is dissolution or pralaya. When you awaken, creation begins again for you. You come back and the world is again existent to you. This is individual dissolution, but the mahapralaya happens universally…. all universes dissolve…. (Vol. 3, 988-9)
Ishwar is the Creator, Preserver and Dissolver as One—Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. This Ishwar is God, but does not know Himself; He is in the state of Infinite Unconsciousness. However, He knows how to create, preserve and destroy the creation…. The eyes of Ishwar are fixed on His creation and not on Himself. (Vol. 3, 989)
When a man attains Realization and ascends to the seventh plane, he feels as if only a second has passed; that is, no time has actually passed during the numberless changes of forms and deaths and births of 84 lakhs—eight million, four hundred thousand times. Now I know that according to you, it accounts for billions of years… But my experience is that nothing has happened and there is no time spent. (Vol. 3, 997)
[Baba told Adi K. Irani, who was humiliated by a certain incident:] You have not lost anything. What you consider to be your loss is in fact your gain. There is gain where there is loss, and without loss there can be no gain. How can one benefit and realize God without first shedding the ego? (Vol. 3, 998)
You all have the false belief that the world is real. You cannot digest this truth, this fact, when I tell you that everything is false—a dream, an illusion. But just have faith in me. Listen to me, love me, and one day you will have the awareness that God alone is the Reality; He is the Truth, and everything else is illusion. (Vol. 3, 1001)
Who weeps for love, he weeps the best. Who cries for else, he does but jest. (Vol. 3, 1005)
[To two visiting Parsi priests:] If you spend your time in discussions on religious doctrines and dogmas, it will take you nowhere toward Truth. It is all rigmarole and will waste your precious time, which might better be used in thinking of God, meditating and creating love. Love is the sum and substance of all religions and the only essential of all creeds. Leave the rigmarole alone. … God and Truth are far, far above shariat—doctrines and dogmas, ceremonies and rituals.” (Vol. 3, 1020)
There is a great difference between a yogi’s meditation and sincere meditation on Infinite, Impersonal God or the Guru, Infinite God in person. A yogi’s meditation ends in samadhi [trance], while meditation done out of love ends in union. A yogi’s meditation ends where love’s activity begins. (Vol. 3, 1084)
Everything is in God, but the help of the Sadguru is needed in order to know and experience God…. Though man is potentially God, being quite ignorant of his Real Self, he thinks himself to be only a man and passes through cycles of births and deaths. He continues wallowing in ignorance until the Sadguru makes him see his own true image. (Vol. 3, 1128)
[Baba spoke to Baily about Col. Irani, Mehera’s uncle who had long persecuted Baba in the press:] You should not hate him; the man deserves to be pitied. We should not act in the same way as he does. We should harbor no bitterness for his criticism nor try to get the better of him. Instead we should patiently tolerate his obstructive tactics. ... Opponents are friends not enemies. They teach you the lesson of being calm, patient and forbearing in every adverse circumstance—in the midst of all provocation. They thereby render you the greatest service. So forbear, forgive and forget. ... Tolerate everything, face every obstacle and learn to swallow anger.... Learn that those who spread deceitful lies about our actions and propagandize against us ... publicize our cause, advertising it widely in a way which we could not have done. This is their service to us. ... By carrying on with all their propaganda, they are always thinking of me and giving me so much importance. This preoccupation of theirs is thus advantageous to them. You serve me in a favorable manner; they in an unfavorable manner, but it is service nevertheless. ... Their angle of vision is different, but they have the right to think and express their views and opinions. ... If you ... adopt the same vituperative attitude toward them, does this not expose your own weakness? There is then no difference between you and them! And it shows that my instructions, discourses and teachings have had no effect upon you. ... So remain calm, put up with hardships and be tolerant; forgive them and forget all. (Vol. 3, 1131)
I know what the President of the United States thinks or will think tomorrow. I know the same about the Prime Minister of England. It does not take me even a moment to know their thoughts. You wonder, “How is it possible?” I say it is possible because all this is so close to me.… The universe has stuck to me; it is part and parcel of my being. I know and understand the thought of each and every living being and thing in the universe. How? Because I have clasped the universe to my bosom so tightly that I feel every heartbeat in creation. (Vol. 3, 1133)
[A mandali said to Baba on March 28, 1929: “You say that there is nothing but God, but you cannot deny that matter exists.” “Yes I do. I deny that matter exists. There is nothing but God.” “But Baba... How can you expect me to believe that matter does not exist?”] To your mind matter exists, but only so long as your mind is working. When you are in sound sleep, matter does not exist to you. How then can you say that matter is real? ... It is entirely dependent on the workings of your mind. It is an illusion—nothing more nor less than the work of your mind. [Regarding a nearby wooden stool:] To you it seems to be matter, but to me it is atma, a soul.... To you, all this before you is matter. But to me it is nothing. Just as matter does not exist in your sound sleep, so it does not exist in my awake state. What you experience unconsciously in the sound sleep state, we God-Realized persons experience in the awake state. Our awake state is real, but yours is false. When you realize God you will see for yourself. The existence of matter is due to the existence of the mind. When the mind disappears, matter also vanishes. (Vol. 3, 1148-9)
Instead of conquering others, we should try to conquer ourselves. Striking out at our own wrath is more desirable than striking others. It is real bravery to control our temper, and sheer weakness to be swayed by it. (Vol. 4, 1158)
[After a four-hour lambasting of two mandali:] This path is strewn with hardships, and only heroes can tread it. Many pundits are there to give lectures and speak about philosophy, but only a hero can tread the path. It is like balancing oneself on the edge of a sword. What am I to do? I have to keep you alive while jabbing my knife in your chest, which causes you to cry out. What can we do? This is our situation. (Vol. 4, 1159)
[June 1, 1929, at Meherabad, Baba went to the family quarters and spoke to Vishnu to go fetch Raosaheb. Vishnu was barefoot. Baba:] “Don’t walk barefooted; take my sandals.” Vishnu picked up Baba’s sandals, touched them to his forehead and put them down again by Baba’s feet. He replied, “Master, I could never wear your holy sandals.” Thereupon Baba bitterly remarked to the others present, “How unlucky Vishnu is! When I give him my sandals to wear, he just touches his forehead to them and puts them back. This type of worship and reverence pains me. It is not worship; it is punishment. By disobeying me, Vishnu does not worship me; he punishes me. And the sad part is that he thinks he is revering me. Not to keep my word and to worship one’s own sentiments is sheer disobedience. Vishnu does not revere me. He reveres his own emotions, and to him, they are apparently superior to my orders. Such things deeply pain me.” Disturbed, Chagan asked, “Are we not to consider your sandals as sacred?” “Every belonging of mine is sacred,” replied Baba, “and to have a feeling of reverence for them is good. But they are not more important than I am. My word is the most supreme! For that reason, revere my word rather than my things. While carrying out my wishes, let there be no room for the expression of your own emotions and feelings.” Baba’s mood changed and he then asked those present, “Have you ever examined what I defecate?” Some replied, “Yes,” and some said, “No.” But none could give a description which satisfied Baba. So he himself explained: “You have no idea what my feces contain. In the beginning of creation, I defecated, and all the suns, moons, stars and universes came out. They are all my excrement! But just imagine! When this dirty thing is so beautiful, how can you ever imagine my real splendor? You will lose your senses if you ever see even a glimpse of it.” (Vol. 4, 1160-1)
Really speaking, everywhere in the entire universe is bliss. It is all bliss, bliss and bliss! But poor, ignorant mankind cannot enjoy it, as man does not know how to enjoy it. The whole universe is full of infinite bliss, but disregarding it, man hankers after the transient happiness of affluence, influence, possessions, name and fame. This is all false and illusory, yet man runs only after this. It is due to his ignorance of what is real. One should try to acquire real happiness by eschewing that which is false. I am bliss personified! This five foot, six inch physical form you see is not real. If you could see my Real Form, you would not be yourself. The limited human mind has not the least conception of this Sat-Chit-Ananda state—Infinite Power-Knowledge-Bliss. This state is beyond the realm of the mind. It is called the Nirvikalpa [no quality, formless] state—the “I am God” state. Nirvikalpa is the Infinite Bliss state of Paramatma [Supreme Self] or God’s Infinite Consciousness. Everyone is destined to attain this state and it is everyone’s duty to make efforts toward that end. Some persons may acquire Realization today; if not today, then tomorrow. Some may get it after years and some after many births. But at some time or other one and all have to experience this elevated state. (Vol. 4, 1171)
[On karma yoga:] While rendering service, there should not be the least thought or feeling of “I serve. I do this work.” Real service requires selflessness and should be done selflessly. There should not be the least thought of “I-ness” or “I do this.” ... People all over the world do some kind of service. Some persons serve their community and some their country. But in their service, the degree of egoistic self-respect and selfishness is immense.... Thus everyone serves with an ulterior motive of selfish ambition or superior pride, and this is not serving at all. What is done is all useless, worthless and totally meaningless. (Vol. 4, 1171)
Everywhere in the world, in the name of prayer and worship,… useless babbling is going on. Nothing is gained by it; it has no substance…. The reason is that none of them does it sincerely or wholeheartedly. Their prayers are nothing more than the vocal cord’s useless prattle with no heart or feeling in it…. If it is done with a clear mind and with all sincerity, one’s prayers reach straight to God…. If anyone prays to God, to me, purely and honestly, from however far away and however slowly or softly, I, as God, immediately hear it and a connection is established. … There is no question of distance here. The Qutub is the center, the focal point equidistant from one and all in creation. And he, as this center, serve the purpose not only for this world or universe, but for the three worlds and their various levels and planes. But how is it possible that all prayers are heard at one and the same time? How is it that the prayers and calls of millions of persons bring immediate connection with the Qutub? The answer is simple. What is a Qutub? The ruler of infinite and unlimited powers! To him there is no question of one or twenty-one, a thousand, or a hundred thousand, or millions and billions. Everyone is equal in his eyes. But your call should be from the innermost depths of your heart. (Vol. 4, 1174-5)
[To a mandali:] Whenever I tell you to do a thing, never question, “Why?” Only say, “Yes, Master,” not merely outwardly, but inwardly from the bottom of your heart, and act accordingly. That is your real service to me, your Master... Only this service to your Master enables you to enter the path, and it is superior to all other devotional and yogic practices.... Can you not do only this much for me? Just listen to my word and obey. (Vol. 4, 1180-1)
[To the same mandali, who had been of sour disposition:] Don’t be a child crying for paltry things. Are you a six-foot-tall baby or a full-grown man? Be a man: don’t stick to petty things. Don’t get upset over trivialities.... Take the cause of irritation out of your mind forever. Don’t try to bring it back again and again to memory, harboring it and crying over it like a woman or a child. Immediately after you are angry, forget everything. (Vol. 4, 1181)
A Sadguru never sleeps in the ordinary sense of the word, but rests at a resting place between the sixth and seventh planes. Even though people may find him snoring, he is not asleep. It is next to impossible to come down from that state. A Sadguru alone can manage it; no one else can. That is the reason almost all Masters select a quiet, separate and aloof place for resting—which you call sleeping—where they will not be disturbed. For I know, a kick from a Master during his rest to one who disturbs him could be fatal—the person could be killed. … Sai Baba would rest on a hanging platform high above the floor to avoid disturbance by anyone. (Vol. 4, 1182)
As long as a person is not free from desires, he is not ready for emancipation. Desires, both good and bad, are binding. Good desires bind a person with golden chains, and bad with iron ones. ... As long as desires persist, there is no freedom. One who is completely desireless becomes King of kings. ... One has to go beyond desires to enjoy freedom. This freedom can never be imagined; it is beyond the mind. (Vol. 4, 1190)
Bliss is something quite distinct from happiness and misery. Happiness and misery are gained through experiences of the mind. Bliss is something totally different; after the death of the mind, what the soul gains through God is bliss.... Bliss cannot be described. It cannot be grasped. It is to be experienced. [Q: But why is there always suffering and not happiness?] You simpleton, I am trying to tell you that there is nothing like suffering! It is the mind that creates pain and misery. In reality, neither happiness nor misery exists. Only bliss is real, which the soul enjoys after emancipation. So to attain emancipation, first destroy the mind. First free yourself and then enjoy bliss. Become one—merge with the bliss! What is the meaning of God-Realization? It means to become one with God. By thinking and imagining, one can never become one with God. Union is possible only after the death of thoughts and imagination—the mind must die. How does a person know that he has realized God? It is automatic. You are a human being. Do you ever think to yourself, “Am I a human being?” You do not ask yourself this because you are a human being. In the same way, once a man realizes God, he spontaneously knows that he is God. He has the full experience of it.... The difference between God and man is more than between heaven and earth. Man is bound by cravings and desires. You eat and drink, and whatever you do binds you [in sanskara-impressions]. I eat and drink, but I am quite free.... You are humans; I am God.... I am always changeless; I am ever equable.... The mirror is changeless, immovable and always steady. I too am like the mirror. The change you observe [different moods of Baba’s personality] is in you—not in me. I am always so constant and still that it cannot be imagined. (Vol. 4, 1190-1)
A Qutub is no ordinary being and beloved. He is the knower of everything! (Vol. 4, 1195)
[To the mandali:] You must learn to accept every type of life and have equipoise in all situations and circumstances. Every situation is, after all, a temporary situation and liable to change. So remain detached and not influenced by change; be steadfast in changelessness. (Vol. 4, 1184)
[Baba to mandali Buasaheb, angry at another change of plans by Baba:] You cannot understand these sudden and frequent changes of my plans. There is a great mystery behind making these changes. Stick to me and bear everything with patience. I know what I am doing. (Vol. 4, 1205)
Only a Sadguru can free one from the cage of illusion, but three conditions are required—longing, patience and rock-like faith. Nothing is gained without longing. ... For instance, if a man is stung by a scorpion, he constantly thinks of how to overcome the burning, throbbing pain.... In the same way, there should be continual longing to be one with God. There should be no other thought except this: “I must be one with God today—immediately, this moment!” The mind and heart must be devoid of any other thought. Even though many years of suffering may pass, patience should never be forsaken.... It must be persistent. (Vol. 4, 1214)
This path is not easy at all; and if you enter it, you will not find joy here. Therefore, I warn, think seven times before entering it! If you are after God, you will have to give up everything—your father, your mother, the whole world. You have to renounce each and every thing.... Once you fall for the path, don’t be afraid of anything in the world. “Who will look after my parents? How about my job? What will the world think of me?” All these thoughts are useless. If you had died, who would have looked after your near and dear ones? Those affected will care for themselves. God takes care of everyone. He is the true sustainer. (Vol. 4, 1216)
The Master is always ready to pass on the treasure to you, but your vessel is not empty. It is filled with filth! I want to give you love, but your mind is full of lust. Unless you get rid of it, I cannot give you the experience of love. Therefore, conquer lust—drive it away.... You have had enough satisfaction in previous births. What is to be had by more lust?... It is no easy thing to eradicate sanskaras gathered during birth after birth, and lust is the hardest of all sanskaras. But be heroes and fight lust; you will defeat it. (Vol. 4, 1234-5)
Love me and you will know me; but I am such a Reality that it is extremely difficult to know me. The price is love. No repetition of God’s name, no penance and no meditation is necessary—only love, and such love that it annihilates your ego. This means your love should be so deep that it makes you forget yourself and the world. This experience will leave you desireless, dazed and confounded. This is real love. You have feeling for me in your hearts, and because of it you may remember me often during the day but you do not continuously. This feeling or devotion, though good, is not love. It should not be mistaken for love, because that real love which is to see and know God cannot be created. It has to be bestowed. It is bestowed through the grace of the Master, and such grace is conferred on a very, very lucky few. ... Try always to remember me ... This is the best beginning—the determination to be ready to receive the Master’s grace. (Vol. 4, 1293)
Love never thinks of or cares for itself. It just burns its victim in love for its Beloved. This burning gradually diminishes the ego and thus it is eventually totally annihilated. In this fire, love makes its victim realize the Self. (Vol. 4, 1293)
[On April 2, 1930, some of the mandali complained to Baba, “Staying with you is nothing but harassment. Life is so full of hardships now.”] It is my grace. This is my real mercy which descends on a very, very select few. These are my friends. They are my lovers to whom I give the gift of sorrow and distress. It is a gift much greater than gold—of incalculable value—and not given to all. This gift is only for my beloved children. We Masters can grant a world of gold, of happiness and prosperity to others by our blessings, but this rare and great gift of privations, troubles and suffering is destined for only a few. So, don’t be anxious. Remember that I love most those whose hearts I pierce and who, though their hearts are wounded, stay with me and stick to me through thick and thin. Were I to use my dagger on outsiders, they would not dare approach me. I keep them happy with praise and encouragement so that they may be in my contact and gradually be fit to bow down to me in the real sense of the word. For my friends—I kill them and it is my highest mercy on them. What is my mercy? What is my grace? It is your trouble and harassment [for the purpose of burning off samskaras and old karmas]. (Vol. 4, 1295)
[After paranormally stirring up a fight between one mandali and the others on a bus journey:] You do not have the slightest idea of the work of Masters. How could you ever grasp my work concerning the three worlds? ... No Sadguru has circle members like mine!... How loyal are my mandali; they are with me for years without any hope of reward. They try their best to carry out my orders and must undergo severe hardships. Travels with me entail great privations. The harassment that I give is greater during my travels, and it is while traveling that my greatest work is done. (Vol. 4, 1282)
At present the priest class is the greatest obstacle in the path of spirituality. The rigid and deep-rooted beliefs and prejudices of age-old customs, rites and rituals which the priests have inherited and nourished in the name of religion are intolerable and the greatest impediment.... If the downfall of this junta is brought about, the firmly imbedded prejudices and rites will be destroyed. Although there is the risk of people becoming indifferent to God and religion, these can still be revived afterward once these rotting prejudices are uprooted. (Vol. 4, 1296)
I shall change the history of the whole world. As Jesus came to impart spirituality to a materialistic age, so I have come to impart a spiritual push to present-day mankind. ... The great teachers of religion—Zarathustra, Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed—do not differ in their essential doctrines. All these Prophets came from God.... At present, the whole world is enmeshed in sensual desires, in racial prejudice, selfishness and money-worship. God is forsaken! True religion is abused. Man seeks life and the priests give him stone! God therefore, must send his True Prophet among men once again to establish true worship and to awaken people out of their materialistic stupor. I but follow in the line of these earlier Prophets. This is my mission.... I shall not attempt to establish any new religion, cult or organization.... The time is soon coming to give mankind a universal spiritual belief, which will serve all races of people in every country. (Vol. 4, 1347-8)
Whatever physical ailments you see [in my body] are due to the sanskaras taken on from the world at large, for whose benefit and welfare I work. It is similar in the case of the other Sadgurus. Upasni Maharaj has piles; Sai Baba regularly had high fevers. I have stomach trouble, dysentery, blisters and these boils. (Vol. 4, 1326)
[To Paul Brunton, in Nov. 1930:] Once I publicly announce myself as the Avatar, no one will be able to withstand my power! I shall openly perform miracles as proof of my mission... [Brunton: “How do you know you are the Messiah?] I know! I know it so well. You know that you are a human being, and I know that I am the Avatar. It is my whole life! My bliss never stops! You never mistake yourself for some other person; so I cannot mistake who I am. I have a divine mission to fulfill and I will do it! (Vol. 4, 1349)
[Once, during a testy mood:] I am being worshipped by the angels, walis [saints] and pirs [spiritual leaders], but you, my mandali, your behavior toward me is one of complete indifference. ... When you recognize me and come to know fully who I really am, you will feel sorry for yourselves and realize how grossly negligent you were in following my dictates and caring for my words. Although I now pardon you and your mistake is forgiven, it is not befitting to be so careless. It is not really your mistake but my luck. The same thing happens with every Avatar. He remains unknown in his lifetime, but after he gives up the body, the whole world weeps in repentance for the great loss they have to sustain. Your time of weeping will also come! (Vol. 4, 1352)
[The mayor of Karachi complained to Baba of his difficulties with no solutions in sight; Baba replied:] That is not bad news; that is very good news! You are lucky to have so many hardships. The fact is there are no hardships, because everything in the world is one big zero. I see and experience this every moment. Once tested by the Avatar or Sadguru, the devotee will feel as if he is about to die! It is terrible; this path of God is the harshest... Still, don’t worry and don’t lose hope. Good times are ahead and after these difficulties, quietude and comfort await you. Terrible suffering is the sign of happiness and peace to come. Great heat denotes the coming of rain. Great suffering and intense sorrow indicate that happiness is about to dawn. Anything beyond your capacity will necessarily change your capacity, because so long as everything is within your limits, you don’t know what is beyond them. And everything concerning God and God-Realization is beyond limit! So in this way, great suffering and being plagued with terrible problems are beneficial. People pray to me to solve their difficulties, saying that they love me, but there is a vast difference between love and prayer. In Persian, to pray means to beg, to want, to desire something—even the blessings of God. But when a person really loves, he gives himself over to his Beloved completely. This is true love. In that, there is no begging, no wanting, and no room for desires. Only the longing to unite with the Beloved remains. Love means the renunciation of the self; prayer means selfishness, no matter how high the prayer may be. So there is a vast difference between when one prays and when one loves. (Vol. 4, 1376)
After attaining the divine state of Nirvikalp-samadhi, the Avatar enters the second divine state of Sahaj-samadhi (God-Consciousness plus creation-consciousness). In this state of Sahaj-samadhi, the Avatar experiences himself as everyone and everything. (Vol. 4, 1383)
[On his arch-critic, Colonel Merwan Sohrab Irani:] He is really a friend, because he too is mine. It is only one Soul inhabiting the persons of my friends and enemies. It is the same one Soul [Self] in everyone. (Vol. 4, 1396-7)
It is not within the bounds of the intellect to judge spiritual perfection or to enter the realms of One who has attained perfection. This can only be achieved through love—surpassing the intellect. This love is born only in the pure heart of a real lover of God. It can never blossom in the hearts of those swayed by the intellect’s achievements. (Vol. 4, 1431)
[To Gandhi, before a large assembly of Gandhi’s followers:] People weep at the sight of me and find themselves loving me even when they say they don’t love God. It is because I am desireless; I am completely free of desire and am full of only love from head to foot. This inspires all to love me. Forgetting their differences of caste, creed and color, they love me. You cannot do this because you have desires, whether they be large or small. On all sides you have the ego which does not draw people to you. Desires kill love. I am the very image of love and only love. My whole body is full of love. I am nothing except love. I come out of eternity and am full of bliss. I enjoy bliss infinitely.... While the world goes mad with excitement over one question or the other—like this self-government for India which you all consider to be of vital importance, to me it is all a tamasha—a passing show, a play. I enjoy it because I have experienced death. So there is nothing to worry about. Even such vital questions that threaten the existence of a race or nation are of practically little concern or importance, except where it affects the spiritual development of people. Spiritual life is the real life. Everywhere there is bliss—infinite bliss. Every moment, every hour, every day, I continually experience it. This bliss is in everyone and I am pondering how to make mankind aspire to and taste this bliss. But there is a lock put on it and only I have the key. That is why I only smile at all these excitements in the world. [Gandhi: Then, won’t you favor me with just one of those keys?] I will give it. [Gandhi: Is that a promise?] Actually it is yours and you will know it one day. The sooner you strive after it exclusive of all else, the sooner you will reach it. I will help you in your effort and will give it to you when you come to stay with me after retiring from politics as I previously prescribed. ... The funny part is that though the bliss is within everybody, no one is able to find it. They search outside. I am thinking how to make people see it within and how to make them enjoy it. (Vol. 4, 1446-9)
[To Robert Norwood, a British theologian:] Love is the only real religion. People are now tired of theories, doctrines and principles. They want the real thing, which explanations can never give. They must feel Truth, see Truth and experience Truth. Only then can one find harmony with everything and everyone. Only then can one, though remaining in the world, not be of it. I am eternally happy. I see my own Self in everyone and everything. [Norwood: Do you preach any specific precepts or do you belong to any particular creed?] None absolutely. Religions, castes, sects, dogmas and rituals are all hindrances in the path of Truth. Truth is all-pervading and infinite. I do not teach anything. I make the learned forget. I have come not to teach but to awaken. [Norwood: Is going to church of any help?] Yes, to a certain extent; not much though. The church that advocates and nourishes sectarianism renders no help. All true churches, temples and mosques are for all. To attain the Truth, no obstacle should be put in anyone’s way, such as present-day religions and cults do.... There is no higher religion than Love. Love is the only way leading to Truth and God-Realization. Mind and intellect provide only superficial understanding; it is dry knowledge. One should try to see God and experience Him.... Love is truly a shortcut in the long path toward achieving God-Realization. It is the quickest way. (Vol. 4, 1487)
From: Meher Baba on Inner Life (from 1920s-30s articles by Baba, mainly on Sufi states)
All earthly pleasure is a shadow of the eternal bliss of God-realization. (55)
There is nothing like an accident or a coincidence in the Creation. Everything in the world is going on with great regularity and according to the most perfect system. The accidents and coincidences appear as such because of the absence of the knowledge of the past and future. (16)
From: Discourses (first appearing in the Meher Baba Journal, 1938-1942, later slightly edited by Baba)
Humanity is now going through the agonizing travail of spiritual rebirth. Great forces of destruction are afoot and seem to be dominant at the moment, but constructive and creative forces which will redeem humanity are also being released through several channels.... It is all a part of the divine plan, which is to give to the hungry and weary world a fresh dispensation of the eternal and only Truth....Wars in themselves do not constitute the central problem for humanity, but are rather the external symptoms of something graver at their root.... Even when military wars are not being waged, individuals or groups of individuals are constantly engaged in economic or some other subtle form of warfare.... The root-cause of the chaos which precipitates itself in wars is that most persons are in the grip of egoism and selfish considerations, and they express their egoism and self-interest individually as well as collectively. This is the life of illusory values in which men are caught.... With the dawn of true understanding the problem of wars would immediately disappear.... The chief task before those who are deeply concerned with the rebuilding of humanity is to do their utmost to dispel the spiritual ignorance which envelopes humanity... [the] uncritical identification with narrow interests... (I 17-18)
The coming civilization of the New Humanity shall be ensouled not by dry intellectual doctrines, but by living spiritual experiences.... Spiritual truth can often be stated and expressed through the intellect... but by itself, the intellect is insufficient to enable man to have spiritual experience or to communicate it to others.... Spiritual experience involves more than can be grasped by mere intellect. This is often emphasized by calling it a mystical experience.... True mysticism ... is ... a vision of Reality. It is a form of perception which is absolutely unclouded, and so practical that it can be lived every moment of life and expressed in every-day duties.... It is the final understanding of all experience.... Christ pointed out the way to spiritual experience when he said, “Leave all and follow me.” This means that man must leave limitations and establish himself in the infinite life of God. Real spiritual experience involves not only realization of the soul on higher planes, but also a right attitude towards worldly duties. If it loses its connection with the different phases of life, what we have is a neurotic reaction that is far from being a 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. The limited life of illusions and false values will then be replaced by unlimited life in the Truth... Just as a person may seek to hold onto his separative existence through escape or identification with external forms, he may seek to hold it through identification with some narrow class, creed, sect or religion, or with the divisions based upon sex.... What results from identification with narrow groups or limited ideals is not a real merging of the separative self, but only a semblance of it. A real merging of the limited self in the ocean of universal life involves complete surrender of separative existence in all its forms.... 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.... Love is essentially self-communicative; those who do not have it catch it from those who have it.... Humanity will attain to a new mode of being and life through the free and unhampered interplay of pure love from heart to heart.... Through divine love the New Humanity will learn the art of co-operative 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 the Truth; it will enjoy peace and abiding happiness; it will be initiated in the life of Eternity. (I 20-25)
Selfishness comes into existence owing to the tendency of the desires to find fulfillment in action and experience. It is born of fundamental ignorance about one’s own true nature. Human consciousness is clouded by the accumulation of various types of impressions deposited by the long course of the evolution of consciousness. These impressions express themselves as desires, and the range of the operation of consciousness is strictly limited by these desires. The sanskaras or impressions form an enclosure around the possible field of consciousness.... The range of selfishness is equal to the range of desires. Owing to the hindrance of multifarious desires, it becomes impossible for the soul to find free and full expression of its true being, and life becomes self-centered and narrow. The entire life of the personal ego is continually in the grip of wanting, i.e., an attempt to seek fulfillment of desires through things that change and vanish. But there can be no real fulfillment through the transient things.... There is thus a general sense of dissatisfaction accompanied by all kinds of worries. The chief forms in which the frustrated ego finds expression are lust, greed and anger.... Man experiences disappointment through lust, greed and anger; and the frustrated ego, in its turn, seeks further gratification through lust, greed and anger. Consciousness is thus caught up in a vicious cycle of endless disappointment.... Selfishness, which is the common basis of these three ingredient vices, is thus the ultimate cause of disappointment and worries. It defeats itself. It seeks fulfillment through desires but succeeds only in arriving at unending dissatisfaction.... The problem of happiness is, therefore, the problem of dropping out desires. Desires, however, cannot be effectively overcome through mechanical repression. They can be annihilated only through knowledge. If you dive deep ... and think seriously for just a few minutes, you will realize the emptiness of desires.... All that you have enjoyed through life is today nil. All that you have suffered through life is also nothing in the present. All was illusory. It is your right to be happy and yet you create your own unhappiness by wanting things. Wanting is the source of perpetual restlessness.... Say, “I do not want anything,” and be happy. The continuous realization of the futility of wants will eventually lead you to Knowledge. The Self-knowledge will give you the freedom from wants which leads to the road to abiding happiness. (I 26-9)
Everywhere there is the source of abiding bliss and yet all are miserable because of desires born of ignorance. (I 32)
The dawn of love facilitates the death of selfishness. Being is dying by loving. (I 29)
God is infinite.... If we take God as one separate entity, He becomes one term in a relational existence.... When we talk of the Infinite and the finite, we are referring to them as two, and the Infinite has already become the second part of the duality. But the Infinite belongs to the non-dual order of being.... Since the Infinite cannot be the second part of the finite, the apparent existence of the finite is false. The Infinite alone exists.... There is only one being in reality and it is the Universal Soul [Atma, Divine Spirit]. The existence of the finite or the limited is only apparent or imaginary. You are infinite. You are really everywhere. But you think that you are the body, and therefore consider yourself limited. If you think you are the body which is sitting, you do not know your true nature. If you were to look within and experience your own soul in its true nature you would realize that you are infinite and beyond all creation. But you identify yourself with the body. This false identification is due to ignorance which makes itself effective through the medium of the mind. Ordinary man thinks that he is the physical body. A spiritually advanced man thinks that he is the subtle body. The saint thinks that he is the mind [a mind devoted to God]. But in none of them is the soul having direct self-knowledge.... From the limited point of view of a person who has not gone beyond the domain of maya [illusion], there are numberless individuals.... In fact, there is only one Universal Soul... One and the same soul is ultimately behind the minds of seemingly different individuals, and through them it has the multifarious experiences of duality. The One in the many comes to experience itself as one of the many. This is due to imagination or false thinking. Thinking becomes false owing to the interference of sanskaras [binding impressions of like and dislike] accumulated during the process of the evolution of consciousness.... Through many lives, consciousness is continually being burdened by the after-effects of experience. The perception of the soul is limited by these after-effects. ... Consciousness becomes a helpless captive of illusions projected by its own false thinking.... The soul gets enmeshed in the desires and cannot step out of the circumscribed individuality constituted by these desires. It imagines these barriers and becomes self-hypnotized. It looks upon itself as being limited and separate from other individuals. It gets entangled in individualistic existence and imagines a world of manifold separateness.... [Thus,] the One Being descends into the domain of maya and assumes a multiplicity which does not in fact exist. The separateness of individuals does not exist in reality but only in imagination. The one Universal Soul imagines separateness in itself, and out of this division there arises the thought of “I” and “mine” as opposed to “you” and “yours.” ... Although it eternally remains the same Infinite Absolute, it suffers a kind of timeless contraction through its apparent descent into the world of time, variety and evolution. (I 34-8)
The gulf between the clouded consciousness of average humanity and the fully illumined consciousness of a Perfect Master is created by sanskaras which give rise to egoism. These can be removed through perfect character, devotion and selfless service, but the best results in this direction are attained through the help of a Perfect Master. Spiritual advancement consists not in the further development of consciousness (for it is already fully developed in man), but in the emancipation of consciousness from the bondage of sanskaras. (I 39-40)
Every time you go to sleep you are unconsciously united with the Infinite Reality.... But being unconscious of this union, you do not consciously derive any benefit from it.... If your union with the Supreme Reality had been a conscious union, you would have awakened into a completely new and infinitely rich life. A Perfect Master is consciously united with the Infinite Reality.... In the case of the Perfect Master, the conquest of the unconscious by the conscious is final and permanent and, therefore, his state of self-knowledge is continuous and unbroken and remains the same at all times without any diminution. (I 40)
As long as a person remains under the sway of duality and looks upon manifold experience as being true and final, he has not traversed the domain of ignorance. In the state of final understanding a person realizes that the Infinite, which is One without a second, is the only reality.... A person who has such realization has attained the highest state of consciousness.... The limitations of sanskaras and desires are completely transcended. The limited individuality, which is the creation of ignorance, is transformed into the divine individuality which is unlimited... without giving rise to any form of illusion. The person is free from all self-centered desires and he becomes the medium of the spontaneous flow of the supreme and universal will which expresses divinity.... Individuality becomes limitless by the disappearance of ignorance.... It enjoys the state of liberation in which there is objectless awareness, pure being and unclouded joy. Such a person has no longer any illusions which perplex and bewilder man. In one sense he is dead. The personal ego ... of separateness has been forever annihilated. But in another sense, he is alive forevermore with unconquerable love and eternal bliss. He has infinite power and wisdom, and the whole universe is to him a field for his spiritual work of perfecting mankind. (I 41-2)
The need for manifested life arises out of the impetus in the Absolute to become conscious of itself. The progressive manifestation of life through evolution is ultimately brought about by the will-to-be-conscious which is inherent in the Infinite.... Although for the purposes of an intellectual explanation of creation the impetus in the Absolute has to be regarded as a will-to-be-conscious, to describe it as a sort of inherent desire is to falsify its true nature. It is better described as a lahar or an impulse which is so inexplicable, spontaneous and sudden that to call it this or that is to have its reality undone.... Just as a wave going across the surface of a still ocean calls forth into being a wild stir of innumerable bubbles, the lahar creates myriads of individual souls out of the indivisible infinity of the Oversoul. But the all-abounding Absolute remains the substratum of all the individual souls.... Within the undifferentiated being of the Absolute is born a mysterious point through which comes forth the variegated manyness of creation; and the vasty deep which, a fraction of a second before was still, is astir with the life of innumerable frothy selves... within the foamy surface of the ocean. All this is merely an analogy. It would be a mistake to imagine that some real change takes place in the Absolute when the lahar of the involved will-to-be-conscious makes itself effective by bringing into existence the world of manifestation. There can be no act of involution or evolution within the being of the Absolute.... The change implied in the creation of the manifested world is not an ontological change or a change in the being of the Absolute Reality. It is only an apparent change. ... The manifoldness of creation and the separateness of the individual souls exist only in imagination.... The Oversoul remains the same without suffering any real expansion or contraction, increment or decrement. (I 56-8)
The manifold evolving universe arises from the mixing of the one Reality and “Nothing.” It springs out of “Nothing” when this “Nothing” is taken against the background of the one Reality. But this should not be taken to mean that the universe is partly the outcome of the one Reality, or that it has an element of Reality. It is an outcome of “Nothing” and is nothing. It only seems to have existence. Its apparent existence is due to the one Reality which is, as it were, behind “Nothing.” [...] [The] termination of the [cosmic] evolutionary process is called Mahapralaya or the final annihilation of the world, when the world becomes what it was in the beginning, namely nothing.... Just as the varied world of experience completely disappears for the man who is in deep sleep, the entire objective cosmos which is the creation of maya vanishes into nothingness at the time of Mahapralaya. It is as if the universe had never existed at all. Even during the evolutionary period the universe is in itself nothing but imagination. There is in fact only one indivisible and eternal Reality and it has neither beginning nor end. It is beyond time. From the point of view of this timeless Reality, the whole time-process is purely imaginary, and billions of years which have passed and billions of years which are to pass do not have even the value of a second. It is as if they had not existed at all.... The one Reality which is infinite and absolute does not thereby suffer any modification. It is absolute and is as such entirely unaffected by any addition or subtraction. The one Reality remains what it was, complete and absolute in itself. [...] The Master understands the one Reality as being the only Reality and the “Nothing” as being merely its shadow. For him, time is swallowed up in eternity. As he has realized the timeless aspect of Reality, he is beyond time, and holds within his being both the beginning and the end of time. He remains unmoved by the temporal process consisting of the action and interaction of the many. Ordinary man knows neither the beginning nor the end of creation. He is, therefore, overpowered by the march of events which loom large because of lack of proper perspective as he is caught up in time. He looks upon everything in terms of possible fulfillment or nonfulfillment of his sanskaras. He is, therefore, profoundly disturbed by the happenings of this world. The whole objective universe appears to him as an unwelcome limitation which has to be overcome or tolerated. The Master, on the other hand, is free from duality ... [and] all limitation. The storm and stress of the universe do not affect his being. All the bustle of the world with its constructive and destructive processes can, for him, have no special importance, for he has entered into the sanctuary of Truth.... He comprehends within his being all existence, and looks upon the entire play of manifestation as merely a game. (I 45, 44-5, 53)
Whereas the consciousness of most souls is conditioned by some kinds of sanskaras, the consciousness of Self-conscious souls is completely free from all sanskaras. ...The problem of deconditioning the mind through the removal of sanskaras is therefore extremely important. (I 64)
Fresh multiplication of sanskaras can be stopped through renunciation. Renunciation may be external or internal. External renunciation consists in giving up everything to which the mind is attached, viz. , home, parents, wife, children, friends, wealth, comforts and gross enjoyments. Internal or mental renunciation consists in giving up all cravings, particularly the craving for sensual objects. Though external renunciation in itself is not necessarily accompanied by internal renunciation, it often paves a way for internal renunciation. Spiritual freedom consists in internal renunciation, but external renunciation is a great aid in achieving internal renunciation.... For most persons, external renunciation creates a favorable atmosphere for the wearing out of sanskaras.... The unwinding of many other sanskaras can be brought about through penance.... Sincere penance does not consist in perpetuating grief for the wrongs, but in resolving to avoid in the future those deeds which call forth remorse.... The wearing out and unwinding of sanskaras can also be effected by denying to desires their expression and fulfillment.... When the mind is trained to remain unmoved and balanced in the presence of all internal and external stimuli, it arrives at the state of non-wanting, and by not wanting anything (except the Absolute Reality which is beyond the opposites of stimuli) it is possible to unwind the sanskaras of wanting.... The poise of non-wanting can only be maintained by an unceasing disentanglement from all stimuli, whether pleasant or painful, agreeable or disagreeable.... The attitude of non-attachment can keep you safe. This attitude consists in the application of the principle “Neti, Neti,” “Not this, Not this” [i.e., “I am not this body, not these sensations, not this mind, not these thoughts or emotions”]. It implies constant effort to maintain watchful detachment in relation to the alluring opposites of limited experience [pleasure and pain, gain and loss, etc.].... The equipoise consists in meeting both alternatives with complete detachment.... When the mind is being detached from the world of objects, it has a tendency to arrive at some finer attachments of a subjective kind. After the mind has succeeded in cultivating a certain degree of detachment, it might easily develop that subtle form of egoism which expresses itself through aloofness and a superior air. Detachment should not be allowed to form any nucleus upon which the ego could fasten itself, and at the same time, it should not be an expression of one’s inability to cope with the storm and stress of worldly life. The things that condition pure and infinite being should be given up through an attitude of immense strength which is born of purity and enlightenment, and not from a sense of helplessness in the face of strife and struggle.... The assertion of “no, no” [neti, neti] has to be sufficiently powerful to effect the eradication of all the physical, subtle and mental sanskaras; but after it has served its purpose, it has to be ultimately abandoned. The finality of spiritual experience does not consist of a bare negation.... The negative formula has to be used by the mind to decondition itself, but it must be renounced before the ultimate goal of life can be attained.... This amounts to a process of going beyond the mind, and this becomes possible through non-identification with the mind or its desires.... This means freeing the soul from its self-imposed illusions like “I am the body,” “I am the mind” or “I am desire” and gaining ground toward the enlightened state of “I am God,” “An al-Haqq” [Sufism: “I am Divine Truth”], or “Aham Brahmasmi” [Hindu Vedanta: “I am the Absolute Reality”]. (I 67-76)
All these [foregoing] methods of negating the ... sanskaras are ultimately based upon the control of the body and mind. Control of the habitual tendencies of the mind is much more difficult than control of physical actions. The fleeting and evasive thoughts and desires of the mind can be curbed only with great patience and persistent practice.... Though control might be difficult at the beginning, through sincere effort it gradually becomes natural and easy of achievement.... After the mind is released from the sanskaras, control becomes spontaneous because the mind is then functioning in freedom and understanding. Such control is born of strength of character and health of mind, and it invariably brings with it freedom from fear and immense peace and calmness. The mind, which appears feeble when it is wanton and uncontrolled in its functioning, becomes a source of great strength when it is controlled. Control is indispensable for the conservation of psychic energy and the economical use of thought-force for creative purposes.... Control which has true spiritual value does not consist in the mechanical repression of thoughts and desires, but is the natural restraint exercised by perception of positive values... Thus the tendencies for lust, greed and anger are removed through an appreciative recognition of the value of a life of purity, generosity and kindness.... The process of replacing lower values by higher values is the process of sublimation, which consists in diverting the psychic energy locked up in the old sanskaras towards creative and spiritual ends.... The method of sublimation is the most natural and effective method of breaking through the grooves of old sanskaras... (I 77-9)
Psychic energy can be sublimated into spiritual channels through 1) meditation, 2) selfless service of humanity and 3) devotion.... There are may forms of meditation according to the aptitude of different persons.... The more successful and deeper forms of meditation are preceded by deliberate and constructive thinking about God—the Beloved. Meditation on God is spiritually most fruitful. God can become the object of meditation either in His impersonal aspect or in His personal aspect. Meditation on the impersonal [unmanifest, formless] aspect of God is suitable only for those who have a special aptitude for it.... Meditation should be spontaneous and not forced.... While meditation ... requires withdrawal of consciousness into the sanctuary of one’s own heart, concentration on the universal aspect of God is best achieved through the selfless service of humanity. When the soul is completely absorbed in the service of humanity, it is completely oblivious of its own body or mind or their functions, as in meditation, and therefore new sanskaras are not formed. Further, the old sanskaras which bind the mind are shattered and dispersed. Since the soul is now centering its attention and interest not upon its own good, but upon the good of others, the nucleus of the ego is deprived of its nourishing energy. Selfless service is therefore one of the best methods of diverting and sublimating the energy locked up in the binding sanskaras. Selfless service is accomplished when there is not the slightest thought of reward or result, and when there is complete disregard of one’s own comfort or convenience or the possibility of being misunderstood. When you are wholly occupied with the welfare of others you can hardly think of yourself.... On the contrary you are willing to sacrifice everything for their well-being. Their comfort is your convenience, their health is your delight and their happiness is your joy. You find your life in losing it in theirs. You live in their hearts and your heart becomes their shelter. When there is true union of hearts, you completely identify yourself with the other person.... Thus, through living for others, your own life finds its amplification and expansion. The person who leads a life of selfless service is therefore hardly conscious of serving. He does not make those whom he serves feel that they are in any way under obligation to him. On the contrary, he himself feels obliged for being given a chance of making them happy.... Selfless service as well as meditation are both spontaneous when they are inspired by love. Love is therefore rightly regarded as being the most important avenue leading to the realization of the Highest. In love the soul is completely absorbed in the Beloved and is therefore detached from the actions of the body or mind. This puts an end to the formation of new sanskaras and also results in the undoing of old sanskaras by giving to life an entirely new direction. Nowhere does self-forgetfulness come so naturally and completely as in the intensity of love. Hence it has been given the foremost place among the methods which secure release of consciousness from the bondage of sanskaras. ... [Love] is at once characterized by self-sacrifice and happiness.... It is accompanied by an exclusive and whole-hearted offering to the Beloved without admitting the claims of any other object. Thus there is no room for the diversion of psychic energy and concentration is complete.... The sacrifice of love is so complete and ungrudging that it has all to give and nothing to expect. The more it gives the more it wants to give and the less it is aware of having given. The stream of true love is ever increasing and never failing.... [Finally, in this supreme devotion, or Para-bhakti] the lover breaks through his limitations and loses himself in the being of the Beloved. (I 80-6)
Love for the Sadguru or Perfect Master is particularly important because ... the aspirant receives from the Sadguru impressions which have the special potency of undoing other past impressions, thus completely transforming the tenor of his life.... Such contact changes and elevates the tone of the most depraved life.... The Sadguru can raise the aspirant from the ordinary intellectual level of consciousness to the level of consciousness where there is inspiration and intuition, and then onwards to the level of insight and illumination which culminates in his merging into the Infinite.... The last step implies complete wiping out of all sanskaras... [This] can never be achieved except through the grace of a Sadguru.... But such active intervention by the Sadguru presupposes unrestrained relationship between the aspirant and the Sadguru, which can be established only when the aspirant succeeds in complete self-surrender to the Sadguru. Self-surrender implies obedience to all the orders of the Master.... Through such implicit and unquestioning obedience, all the crooked knots of your desires and sanskaras are set straight. It is also through such obedience that a deep link is created between the Master and the pupil, with the result that there is an unhindered and perennial flow of spiritual wisdom and power into the pupil. At this stage the pupil becomes the spiritual son of the Master, and in due time he is freed from all individualistic and sanskaric ties. Then he himself becomes a Master. The Sadguru or Perfect Master has a position and a power which is unique.... The Sadguru has not only experienced the different planes of consciousness, but he actually permeates the very being of all souls because of his having become one with the Infinite.... Every being is an open book for the infinite searchlight of his omnipresent consciousness. Because of his union with the Infinite, he is endowed with unlimited power and in the twinkling of an eye can annihilate all the sanskaras of the soul and liberate it from all entanglements and bondage. (I 87-91)
All life is an effort to achieve freedom from self-created entanglement. It is a desperate struggle to undo what had been done in ignorance; to throw away the accumulated burden of the past; to seek rescue from the debris piled high from temporary achievements and failures. Life strives to unwind the limiting sanskaras and find release from the mazes of its own making... (I 113)
There is spiritual perfection, which consists in the inner realization of a transcendent state of consciousness beyond duality. There is also perfection as expressed and seen in the domain of duality. ... Perfection in the domain of duality is only relative perfection.... When a person becomes spiritually perfect he knows that nothing exists except God, and that what seems to exist in the domain of duality and is capable of being grasped by the intellect is only illusion. For the spiritually perfect man, God is the only reality. Science, art, music, weakness, strength, good and evil are all nothing to him but dreams. (I 115-7)
The dignity of the spirit is not to reject matter but to use it for the claims of the spirit. This is possible only when the spirit is free from all cravings and is full conscious of its own true status.... When once true adjustment between spirit and matter is secured there is no phase of life which cannot be utilized for the expression of divinity.... The essence of spirituality does not consist in a specialized or narrow interest in some imagined part of life, but in a certain enlightened attitude to all the various situations which obtain in life. It covers and includes the whole of life. All the material things of this world can be made subservient to the divine game. ... The perfect man does not look down upon things of beauty or works of art, attainments of science or achievements of politics.... The life of the spirit does not consist in turning away from worldly spheres of existence, but in reclaiming them for the divine purpose which is to bring love, peace, happiness, beauty and spiritual perfection within the reach of everyone. ... The life of the spirit is to be found in comprehensiveness which is free from clinging, and appreciation which is free from entanglement. It is a life of positive freedom in which the spirit infuses itself into matter and shines through it without submitting to any curtailment of its own claims.... The life of the spirit is a unified and integral existence which does not admit of exclusive or unrelated compartments. (I 122-6)
Spirit can be understood only through the spirit itself. This highest form of understanding ... is very rare and most difficult to attain. The best approach for the understanding of spirit is through the heart and not through the mind. The mind is accustomed to work upon material things... When mind is turned towards spiritual problems it tackles them along line to which it is accustomed.... All concepts which the intellect evolves for knowledge of material things are inadequate for understanding the spirit. It is like trying to see through the ears or hear through the eyes.... This inevitably leads to the spirit being looked upon as an object of the mind, which it is not. [...] God’s nature as the ocean of love cannot be grasped by the mind.... You cannot love through the intellect.... The knowledge which certain types of yogis have through their minds is merely intellectual and dry.... Where there is no love, there is no bliss or beauty of being.... The hidden depths of the ocean of life can be gauged only by sounding the heart. (I 135-6, 138-9)
The highest type of human existence is free from all wants and is characterized by sufficiency or contentment. Everyone is seeking happiness, but few have it, for lasting happiness dawns only when there is complete freedom from wants. This highest state of non-wanting may outwardly seem to imply inaction and to be easy of attainment. However, if anyone tries to sit quietly without inwardly wanting anything and will full consciousness (i.e., without going to sleep), he will realize that such a state of non-wanting is very difficult to attain... In fact, complete non-wanting is unattainable as long as life is mind-ridden. It is possible only in supramental existence. One has to go beyond the mind to experience the spiritual bliss of desirelessness. (I 139)
Life and love are inseparable from each other. Where there is life, there is love. Even the most rudimentary consciousness is always trying to burst out of its limitations and experience some kind of unity with other forms. Though each form is separate from other forms, in reality they are all forms of the same unity of life. The latent sense for this hidden inner reality indirectly makes itself felt even in the world of illusion through the attraction which one form has for another. The law of gravitation... is in its own way a dim reflection of the love which pervades every part of the universe.... The forces of cohesion and affinity [e.g., magnetic attraction] which prevail in the very constitution of matter are positive expressions of love.... In the animal world love becomes more explicit in the form of conscious impulses which are directed towards different objects... This love is instinctive and it takes the form of gratifying different desires through the appropriation of suitable objects. When the tiger seeks to devour the deer he is in a very real sense in love with the deer. Sex-attraction is another form of love at this level.... [...] Human love is much higher than all these forms of love... Human love is encircled by a number of obstructive factors such as infatuation, lust, greed, anger and jealousy.... Infatuation, lust and greed might be looked upon as perverted and lower forms of love. In infatuation, a person is enamoured of a sensual object; in lust he develops a craving for sensations in relation to it; and in greed he desires to possess it.... Anger and jealousy come into existence when these lower forms of love are thwarted or threatened to be thwarted.... Love has to be carefully distinguished from the obstructive factors of infatuation, lust, greed and anger. In infatuation, the person is a passive victim of the spell of conceived attention for the object. In love there is an active appreciation of the intrinsic worth of the object of love. Love is different from lust. In lust there is reliance upon the object of sense, and consequent spiritual subordination of the soul to it, but love puts the soul into direct and co-ordinate relation with the reality which is behind the form. Therefore lust is experienced as being heavy and love is experienced as being light. In lust there is a narrowing down of life and in love there is an expansion in being. To have loved one soul is like adding its life to your own. Your life is, as it were, multiplied and you virtually live in two centers. If you love the whole world you vicariously live in the whole world, but in lust there is an ebbing down of life and a general sense of hopeless dependence upon a form which is regarded as another. Thus, in lust there is accentuation of separateness and suffering, but in love there is the feeling of unity and joy. Lust is dissipation, love is recreation. Lust is a craving of the senses, love is the expression of the spirit. Lust seeks fulfillment but love experiences fulfillment. In lust there is excitement, but in love there is tranquility. Love is equally different from greed. Greed is possessiveness in all its gross and subtle forms.... In love, the annexation of the other person to your individual life is out of the question, and there is a free and creative outpouring that enlivens and replenishes the psychic being of the beloved independently of any expectations for the self. We have the paradox that greed, which seeks for the appropriation of another object, in fact leads to the opposite result of bringing the self under the tutelage of the object; and [by contrast] love, which aims at giving away the self to the object, in fact leads to a spiritual incorporation of the beloved in the very being of the lover. In greed the self tries to possess the object, but is itself possessed by the object. In love the self offers itself to the beloved without any reservations, but in that very act it finds that it has included the beloved in its own being. Infatuation, lust and greed constitute a spiritual malady which is often rendered more virulent by the aggravating symptoms of anger and jealousy. Pure love, in sharp contradistinction, is the bloom of spiritual perfection. [...] Divine love is qualitatively different from human love. Human love is for the many in the One, and divine love is for the One in the many. Human love leads to innumerable complications and tangles, but divine love leads to integration and freedom.... In divine love there is unrestrained freedom and unbounded spontaneity.... Divine love arises after the disappearance of the individual mind and is free from the trammels of individual nature. In human love the duality of the lover and the beloved persists, but in divine love the lover and the Beloved become one. At this stage, the aspirant has stepped out of the domain of duality and become one with God, for divine love is God.... It is for love that the whole universe sprang into existence and it is for the sake of love that it is kept going. God descends into the realm of illusion because the apparent duality of the Beloved and the lover is eventually contributory to His conscious enjoyment of His own divinity. ... Thus, though the whole world of duality is only an illusion, that illusion has come into being for a significant purpose.... It is love which gives meaning and value to all the happenings in the world of duality. But, while love gives meaning to the world of duality, it is at the same time a standing challenge to duality. As love gathers strength, it generates creative restlessness and becomes the main driving power of that spiritual dynamic which ultimately succeeds in restoring to consciousness the original unity of being. (I 156-64)
The illusion which most aspirants find difficult to shake is the belief that infinite Truth is an object which has to be attained in some distant future, and that all life is just a means for this attainment.... Life is not meant to be rich in spiritual significance at some distant date, but it is so at every moment, if the mind is disburdened of illusion.... When every moment is rich with eternal significance there is neither the lingering clinging to the dead past, nor a longing expectation for the future, but an integral living in the eternal Now. (I 166-7)
From: Avatar: The Life Story of Meher Baba (1947)
[Many times it was demonstrated that Baba knew people’s minds. Yet when Harry Barnhart, a mind reader, tried to read Baba’s mind in 1931 in New York, it seemed absolutely blank and clear. Baba declared:] I have no mind in the customary sense of the word—only a Universal Mind, which, to read, requires a Universal Mind. (26)
[To the mandali in 1922:] I have many powers, and can help you in many ways... I will grant you any request... which you might ask. But before you ask, let me tell you the best thing for you would be to ask nothing—to leave everything to me—and promise to obey me in whatever I command. (63)
[On his critics:] I consider all who are not God-realized as mad and pay no attention to what they do or say about me or my work, favorable or otherwise.... People who speak ill of me should not be condemned. They, too, are unconsciously serving my work, because they often think of me.... My mind is like the ocean—all the good and bad in the universe are drowned in it. If you think good thoughts I absorb them; if you think bad ones, I absorb them too. If filth gets into the water of a small pool, it pollutes it, but if the filth flows into the ocean it is absorbed by it and is no longer filth. Your limited minds become stagnant with a few bad thoughts, but even universal bad thoughts cannot affect my ocean-like mind. (126-7)
There are always many who are devoted but will not obey; a few who will obey after hesitation; and almost none whose love is so strong and pure that they obey without hesitation and without question. (210)
For one who has no self-interest, even Hell is Heaven. (227)
[To his mandali of West and East:] You have given all for love. All mine is yours. You are my own; and I will look after all who are mine.... Think always of me, whatever you may be doing; then gradually you will realized that it is I doing everything through you. “I,” the Doer—not you. What concern need you then have with the results? (255-6)
[Baba compassionately stated to Jean Adriel, who had accused him of sometimes being cruel:] I must be temporarily cruel in order to be permanently kind.... The day will come when even the memory of this pain will be completely obliterated by the all-consuming joy which will flood your soul.... I push you away, then I draw you close; again I push you off and draw you even closer; now I push you far away and the next time I draw you back to me it will be to remain one with my Universal Self, forever. (230)
God alone is worth living for; and God is also worth dying for; all else is a vain and empty pursuit of illusory values. (264)
Even when all the external conditions of free life are completely fulfilled and guaranteed, the soul of man would still remain in woeful bondage if it failed to realize spiritual freedom.... One important condition of spiritual freedom is freedom from all wanting. It is desire that fetters life and enslaves the soul. When the soul breaks asunder the shackles of desire, it emancipates itself from its bondage to the body, mind and ego. This is the spiritual freedom which brings with it the final realization of the unity of all life and puts an end to all doubts and worries.... There is no greater gift than the gift of spiritual freedom and there is no task more important than that of helping others to attain it.... The time has come for all those who would help in the regeneration of man to offer their services in my mission of helping humanity to tread the spiritual path, which leads to the Realization of God. Those who participate in this God-willed, divinely-planned, and predestined task of bringing spiritual freedom to mankind, should know that every type of suffering and sacrifice—even to giving up the physical body—may be required of them. However, through their untiring activities, humanity shall be initiated into the new life of abiding peace and dynamic harmony, unconquerable faith and unfading bliss, immortal sweetness and incorruptible purity, creative love and infinite understanding. (264-5)
Modern psychology has done much to reveal the sources of [inner] conflict; but on the whole it has yet to discover the methods of awakening inspiration or supplying the mind and heart with something dynamic which makes life worth living. This indeed is the creative task before the saviours of humanity.... Life cannot be permanently imprisoned within the cage of the ego; it must, at some time, aspire toward the Truth. In the ripeness of evolution the momentous discovery is made that life cannot be understood and lived fully as long as it is made to move around the pivot of the ego. Man is, therefore, driven by the logic of his own experience to find the true center of experience and reorganize his life on the basis of the Truth which he discovers there.... If consciousness is to be emancipated from its limitations and made to serve the original purpose for which it came into existence—to realize God—it must draw its directive momentum, not from the ego, but from some other principle. The ego as a nucleus of integration must be renounced and a new center found. [Adriel: Baba says that the Perfect Master—whose consciousness is one with God—becomes the new center of integration for the disciple who gives him his whole-hearted allegiance.... Baba makes it clear that in surrendering to the Master the disciple surrenders to the embodiment of Infinite and Universal Truth, not to another limited, finite ego.... Baba says that it is necessary for the spiritual aspirant to construct a provisional and working ego which will be entirely subservient to the Master.] ... Before beginning anything, the aspirant should think that it is not he who is doing it, but the Master who is working through him; and when the work is finished he should not claim or enjoy the fruits of the activity, but relinquish them by offering them to the Master. By training his mind in this spirit, the aspirant creates a new ego, which, though provisional, imparts the feeling of confidence and enthusiasm and possesses the motive power which true action must express. Since, however, this ego derives its life and being from the Master who represents infinite freedom, it is harmless and can, when the right moment comes, be discarded like a garment.... When the ego disappears, there arises the knowledge of the True Self; one’s consciousness is then that of the eternal and infinite “I am,” in which there is no separateness, and which includes all life. (273-5)
[On dogmatic Christianity:] Making such claims [e.g., that Christ is the only Divine Incarnation] does not help you to know Christ. To know Him, one has to live His life. All are Christ, but few can become [like] Jesus. (280)
[The soul] gradually attains an increasingly fuller and freer expression of love. Ultimately, his separate self disappears as it merges into the Divine Beloved. In this unity of the lover and the Beloved is realized the supreme and eternal fact of God as Infinite Love. (284)
From: The God-Man (1964)
[Baba’s interview with James Douglas, editor of the Sunday Express (UK), published on April 10, 1932:] JD: Are you divine? B: I am one with God. I live in Him, like Buddha, like Christ, like Krishna. They know Him as I know Him. All men can know Him. JD: Have you solved the problem of evil? B: There is no evil. There are only degrees of good.... JD: How long will your mission last? B: Thirty-three years. [An accurate prophecy, given that Baba’s last major public appearance was in May, 1965.] JD: What is your secret? B: The elimination of ego. JD: Have you a Scripture, a Bible, a Koran, an inspired book? B: No. I awaken. JD: Do you believe in Buddha and the Eight-Fold Path? B: Yes. All religion is ascent by stages to perfect union with God. JD: What God do you believe in? B: There is only one God for all men. JD: What religion is nearest to yours? B: All religions are revelations of God. JD: Is there a future life? B: Yes. The soul does not die. It goes on from life to life till it is merged in God. JD: Nirvana? B: Yes. But not loss of the self. JD: Does the self survive? B: Yes. But it is merged in God. [Baba explained on other occasions that the ego-self dies to be replaced by the original Divine individual self.]... My ecstasy is continuous. It is unbroken. JD: Do you sleep much? [Baba held up three fingers and the interpreter stated: “Three hours.”] Are you married? B: Sex for me does not exist. JD: Is God a Person or a Power? B: God is both personal and impersonal.... JD: Are you a pantheist? B: No. When you know God it is plain. The self is one with him at the height of experience. [It might be said that, with these views, Baba was a panentheist, neither a mere theist nor a pantheist.] JD: Why am I not happy? B: You have not grown out of self. (99-100)
[Baba had a Western disciple prepare a first public message from Baba to the West, given in April, 1932:] I am not come to establish any cult, society, or organization—nor to establish a new religion. The Religion I shall give teaches the knowledge of the One behind the many. The Book which I shall make people read is the book of the heart, which holds the key to the mystery of life. As for ritual, I shall teach humanity to discriminate, express, and live rather than observe it. I shall bring a blending of the head and the heart. ... Every being is a point from which a start could be made towards the limitless ocean of Love, Bliss, Knowledge, and Goodness already within him. No spiritual Master brings religion to the world in the form which it eventually assumes. His very presence is a blessing and radiates spirituality. He imparts it to others by personal contact.... The West looks at things from the standpoint of reason and is skeptical about what baffles it. This form of understanding is developed by reading, hearing, experiment, and logic. These create the illusion of real knowledge. In the highest state one feels in harmony with everyone and everything, and realizes divinity in every phase of life, and is able to impart happiness to others. Here one attends to all duties and material affairs, and yet feels mentally detached from the world. This is true renunciation and understanding. I intend to bring about a great spiritual revival in the near future, utilizing the tremendous amount of energy possessed by the West for the purpose. Such a spiritual outpouring as I visualize usually takes place at the beginning or end of a cycle, and only a perfect one who has reached the Christ state of consciousness can make a universal appeal. My work will embrace everything—it will permeate every phase of life... New values and significance will be attached to problems which appear to baffle solution at the moment. ... The Master diverts the current into the right channel. It will be one of my greatest miracles to bring together and blend the realistic West with the idealistic East; the West at the zenith of its material and intellectual attainment and the East at the height of its spiritual manifestation in the shape of a Perfect Master will meet without shaming or looking down upon each other. I repeat—materialism and spirituality must go hand in hand. I have become one with the infinite source of everything. This is the state of Christ consciousness. If people call me Messiah, Saviour, or Redeemer it does not affect me. Terms and names do not matter in the state of Christ consciousness that I eternally enjoy and towards which I shall lead all who come to me. When I speak, my original message will be delivered to the world and will have to be accepted.... People must not come to me merely for help in their physical infirmities or for material purposes. I shall perform miracles when the time and situation demand and not to satisfy mere idle curiosity. Spiritual healing is by far the greatest healing, and this is what I intend to give. The highest is latent in everyone, but has to be manifest. (101-2)
[Baba had a disciple prepare a message from Baba to Hollywood, given in Summer, 1932. In part, it stated:] The root of all our difficulties, individual and social, is self-interest.... But the elimination of self-interest, even granting a sincere desire on the part of the individual to accomplish it, is not so easy, and is never completely achieved except by the aid of a Perfect Master. For self-interest springs from a false idea of the true nature of the Self, and this idea must be eradicated, and the Truth experienced, before the elimination of self-interest is possible. I intend, when I speak, to reveal the One Supreme Self which is in all. This accomplished, the idea of the Self as a limited, separate entity will disappear, and with it will vanish self-interest. (104-5)
[In a Nov. 1938 discourse:] The first individual soul to emerge from the evolutionary process as a Sadguru ... is the only Avatar who has ever manifested or ever will manifest. Through him God first completed the journey from unconscious divinity to conscious divinity, in him he first unconsciously became man in order consciously to become God. Through him, periodically, God consciously becomes man for the liberation of mankind. (394)
[On Sept. 30, 1938, Baba stated about the impending war:] Spiritually, both war and peace are nothing; but externally war is the most dreadful thing, and unless it were absolutely necessary for the spiritual upheaval, I should never allow the war to be. (133)
[On Dec. 17, 1939:] Exclusiveness is parading as nationalism; self-interest is known as economics; fanaticism is synonymous with religion; libertinism is looked upon as social and moral freedom; and exploitation is termed politics. (144)
[March 1942:] Let the thought of everyone be not for the limited self, but for others—not for the claims of the ego-life, but for the claims of the Divine Self which is equally in all. It is a mistake to ignore human suffering as merely a part of the illusory universe. Not by ignoring human suffering, but by treating it with Creative Love, is the Gateway opened for Life Eternal; and not through callous indifference, but through active and selfless service, is secured the attainment of that transcendental and illimitable Truth, which is at the heart of the illusory universe. (151)
[In Fall, 1949, Baba was querying the mandali as to who wanted to join him on the New Life period of “helplessness and hopelessness”:] I am going to see who is out to die for no reason by going with me.... Under all these circumstances those of you who really succeed in remaining with me to the end will become worthy to be worshipped by me. (169-70)
[To assembled disciples on Oct. 16, 1950:] Let us not hope, because the Knowledge of God is beyond hoping and wanting. Let us not reason, because this Knowledge cannot be comprehended. Let us not doubt, because this Knowledge is the certainty of certainties. Let us not live the life of the senses, because the lusty, greedy, false, impure mind cannot reach this Knowledge. Let us love God as the Soul of our Souls, for in the height of this Love lies this Knowledge. (188)
[Dec. 31, 1951:] To try to understand with the mind that which the mind can never understand, is futile... All that can be said, and has been said, and will be said, by those who live and experience that state, is that when the false self is lost the Real Self is found; that the birth of the Real can follow only the death of the false; and that dying to ourselves-—he true death which ends all dying—is the only way to perpetual life. This means that when the mind with its desires, cravings and longings, is completely consumed by the fire of Divine Love, then the infinite, indestructible, indivisible, eternal Self is manifested. This is manonash, the annihilation of the false, limited, miserable, ignorant, destructible “I,” to be replaced by the real “I,” the eternal possessor of Infinite Knowledge, Love, Power, Peace, Bliss and Glory, in its unchangeable existence. Manonash results in this glorious state in which plurality goes and Unity comes, ignorance goes and Knowledge comes, binding goes and Freedom comes. We are all in this shoreless Ocean of Infinite Knowledge, and yet are ignorant of it until the mind—which is the source of ignorance—vanishes forever; for ignorance ceases to exist when the mind ceases to exist. Unless and until ignorance is removed and Knowledge gained—that Knowledge whereby the Divine Life is experienced and lived—everything pertaining to the Spiritual is paradoxical. God, whom we do not see, we say is real; and the world, which we do see, we say is false. In experience, what exists for us does not really exist; and what does not exist for us, really exists. We must lose ourselves in order to find ourselves; thus loss itself is gain. We must die to self to live in God: thus death means Life. We must become completely void inside to be completely possessed by God: thus complete emptiness means absolute Fullness. We must become naked of selfhood by possessing nothing, so as to be absorbed in the infinity of God; thus nothing means Everything. (194-5)
[Nov. 1952:] Spiritual freedom is essentially a positive state of conscious enjoyment of divinity. It does not have to maintain itself through the overcoming of any bindings, for these are not bindings of the soul in its essence, but temporary bindings of the body and the min, which can in no way curtail the Bliss, Power or Understanding of conscious Divinity. In other words, the binding, to which the soul seems to be subject, turns out to be no binding in its true essence. The binding is only illusory. After the annihilation of the limited mind, the infinite consciousness of the soul, with all its Knowledge, Power and Bliss, remains unaffected by any weaknesses or diseases to which the body may yield as a result of natural laws. The Perfect Ones, who retain normal consciousness and the body, even after realizing the unchanging and absolute truth, dwell eternally in Divine Love, which transcends all duality and all understanding. They enjoy abiding and unassailable peace, for they have arrived at the final goal of creation. (198-9)
[On the Fiery Free Life:] I shall bow down to the saints whom I adore, the masts whom I worship, and the poor, to whom I am wholeheartedly devoted. Nothing makes me more happy than opportunities to bow down to God in all these forms. I like bowing down to people rather than being bowed down to. To serve and worship God all around me is most at my heart. (199)
[Winter, 1952-3, to 3,000 students at a Sikh College in Delhi:] India has gained its national freedom. Let us now try to gain our Spiritual Freedom beside which every other kind of freedom is a binding.... The purpose of life is to realize God within ourselves. (207)
[In response to a false rumor being circulated in parts of North India that Baba’s mandali had transported liquor during a visit to Rishikesh in 1942, Baba stated on Feb. 22, 1953:] I deeply appreciate this action on the part of those responsible for spreading such false rumors, as I feel it has the effect of rendering great service to my work. In spiritual work, opposition, rumors and criticism help as nothing else can. The spiritually Perfect Ones who are one with the Truth know and bless channels that try to conceal and distort the Truth. A principal part of my work... has been to bow down to saints, sadhus, the so-called sinners and the poor. Now, when I go to Rishikesh and Hardwar, I will also bow down to the persons concerned in the spreading of the rumor, and to all who believed it, and I want it clearly understood that this bowing down to them is not an ironical gesture propelled by an egoistic motive on my part, nor is it caused by any displeasure towards them, but that it is an indication of love, from the bottom of my heart, for the help rendered by them in my great spiritual work. From the beginningless beginning to the present day I am What I Am, irrespective of praise or universal opposition, and will remain so to the endless end. (208)
[On Sept. 7, 1953, at Dehra Dun, Baba delivered his “Highest of the High” address, the fullest, most explicit statement about himself and the requirements of discipleship to the general public:] ... When eventually man consciously experiences that he is Infinite, Eternal and Indivisible, he is fully conscious of his individuality as God, and experiences Infinite Knowledge, Infinite Power and Infinite Bliss. Thus Man becomes God, and is recognized as a Perfect Master, Sadguru, or Qutub. When God manifests on earth in the form of man and reveals his Divinity to mankind, he is recognized as the Avatar—thus God becomes Man.... The Avatar is always one and the same, because God is always One and the Same, the Eternal, Indivisible, Infinite One, who manifests himself in the form of man as the Avatar, as the Messiah, as the Prophet, as the Ancient One—the Highest of the High. This Eternally One and the Same Avatar repeats his manifestation from time to time, in different cycles,... to reveal Truth in different garbs and different languages, in order to raise humanity from the pit of ignorance and free it from the bondage of delusions.... In the world there are countless sadhus, mahatmas, mahapurushas, saints, yogis and walis, though the number of genuine ones is very, very limited. The few genuine ones are, according to their spiritual status, in a category of their own, which is neither on a level with the ordinary human being nor on a level with the state of the Highest of the High. I am neither a mahatma nor a mahapurush, neither a sadhu nor a saint, neither a yogi nor a wali. ... Then what am I? The natural assumption would be that I am either just an ordinary human being, or I am the Highest of the High. But one thing I say definitely, and that is that I can never be included amongst those having the intermediary status of the real sadhus, saints, yogis and such others.... Know you all that if I am the Highest of the High, my role demands that I strip you of all your possessions and wants, consume all your desires, and make you desireless rather than satisfy your desires. Sadhus, saints, yogis and walis can give you what you want [through their miraculous powers]; but I take away your wants and free you from attachments and liberate you from the bondage of ignorance. I am the One to take, not the One to give what you want or as you want. Mere intellectuals can never understand me through their intellect. ... I am not to be attained by those who, loving me, stand reverently by in rapt admiration. I am not for those who ridicule me and point at me with contempt. To have a crowd of tens of millions flocking around me is not what I am for. I am for the few who, scattered amongst the crowd, silently and unostentatiously surrender their all—body, mind and possessions—to me. I am still more for those who, after surrendering their all, never give another thought to their surrender. They are all mine who are prepared to renounce even the very thought of their renunciation and who, keeping constant vigil in the midst of intense activity, await their turn to lay down their lives for the cause of Truth at a glance or sign from me. Those who have indomitable courage to face willingly and cheerfully the worst calamities, who have unshakable faith in me, eager to fulfil my slightest wish at the cost of their happiness and comfort, they indeed, truly love me. From my point of view, far more blessed is the atheist who confidently discharges his worldly responsibilities accepting them as his honorable duty, than the man who presumes he is a devout believer in God, yet shirks the responsibilities apportioned to him through Divine Law, and runs after sadhus, saints and yogis, seeking relief from the suffering which ultimately would have pronounced his eternal liberation. To have one eye glued on the enchanting pleasures of the flesh and with the other expect to see a spark of Eternal Bliss is not only impossible but the height of hypocrisy. ... I declare to all of you who approach me ... accepting me as the Highest of the High, that you must never come with the desire in your heart which craves for wealth and worldly gain, but only with the fervent longing to give your all—body, mind and possessions—with all their attachments. Seek me not to extricate you from your predicaments, but find me to surrender yourself wholeheartedly to my Will. Cling to me not for worldly happiness and short-lived comforts, but adhere to me, through thick and thin, sacrificing your own happiness and comforts at my feet. Let my happiness be your cheer and my comfort your rest. Do not ask me to bless you with a good job, but desire to serve me more diligently and honestly without expectation of reward. Never beg of me to save your life or the lives of your dear ones, but beg of me to accept you and permit you to lay down your life for me. Never expect me to cure you of your bodily afflictions, but beseech me to cure you of your ignorance. ... If I am then the Highest of the High, nothing is impossible to me; and though I do not perform miracles to satisfy individual needs... yet time and again at certain periods I manifest the Infinite Power in the form of miracles, but only for the spiritual upliftment and benefit of humanity and all creatures. ... If I am the Highest of the High, I am above these illusory plays of maya in the course of the Divine Law. Therefore, whatever miraculous experiences are experienced by my lovers ... they are but the outcome of their own firm faith in me.... If I am the Highest of the High, then a wish of my Universal Will is sufficient to give, in an instant, God-realization to one and all, and thus free every creature in creation from the shackles of Ignorance. But blessed is Knowledge that is gained through the experience of Ignorance, in accordance with the Divine Law. This Knowledge is made possible for you to attain in the midst of Ignorance by the guidance of Perfect Masters and surrender to the Highest of the High. (212-14)
[Feb. 25, 1954:] I am never born. I never die. Yet every moment I take birth and undergo death. The countless illusory births and deaths are necessary in the progression of man’s consciousness to Truth—a prelude to the Real Death and Real Birth. The Real Death is when one dies to self; the Real Birth is when dying to self one is born in God to live forever his Eternal Life consciously. (215)
To try to be humble is humbug.... Be natural. (215)
[March 1, to Baba’s workers in Andhra Pradesh state:] I have been telling you all to love me more and more. Love me, love me, love me, and then you will find me. From you I want no surrender, no mind, no body, no possessions, only love.... Live such a life of love, sacrifice, forgiveness and tolerance that others will love me. If instead of doing the real work of love, you start organized propaganda for me, it is absurd. I need no propaganda or publicity.... I am quite capable of doing my Universal Work alone. ... I [also] want you to know for certain that “Baba’s work” needs no money. ... To ask people to give money, and in return to propagate “Baba’s Message of Love” is utter folly. ... Let Baba’s love be the Center, the Office, the help and the work. ... Those who truly love me are my centers in the world. ... There are about 220 men and women from the East and West who have so completely and utterly surrendered to me that they would do anything I say. Whatsoever I order them they will carry out, even if it means being cut to pieces. To surrender is higher than love, and paradoxical as it may seem, to love me as I ought to be loved is impossible, yet to obey me is possible. Therefore to say you love me and yet not to obey me would be hypocritical. ... Be unmindful of whether you are ridiculed or accepted in pouring out your heart for me, or against me, to others. If you take “Baba” as God, say so; do not hesitate. If you think “Baba” is the Devil, say it. Do not be afraid. I am everything that you take me to be, and I am also beyond everything. If your conscience says that “Baba” is the Avatar, say it even if you are stoned for it. But if you feel that he is not, then say that you feel “Baba” is not the Avatar. Of myself I say again and again “I am the Ancient One—the Highest of the High.” If you had even the tiniest glimpse of my Divinity, all doubts would vanish and love—Real Love—be established. Illusion has such a tight grip on you that you forget Reality. Your life is a Shadow. The only Reality is Existence Eternal—which is God. (216-18)
[March 24, to a crowd at Kakinada in South India:] If people were to ask me, “Have you seen God?” I would reply, “What else is there to see?” If they were to ask me, “Are you God?” I would reply “Who else could I be?” If they were to ask me, “Are you Avatar?” I would reply, “Why else have I taken this human form?” (218)
[“Baba’s Call” discourse, given on Sep. 12, 1954:] Age after age, amidst the clamour of disruptions, wars, fear and chaos, rings the Avatar’s call: “Come all unto Me.” ... Its echo and re-echo ... pervades through time and space, to rouse at first a few, and eventually millions, from their deep slumber of ignorance. And in the midst of illusion, as the Voice behind all voices, it awakens humanity to bear witness to the manifestation of God amidst mankind.... I tell you all with my Divine authority, that you and I are not “We,” but “One.” You unconsciously feel my Avatarhood within you; I consciously feel in you what each of you feel. Thus every one of us is Avatar, in the sense that everyone and everything is everyone and everything, at the same time, and for all time.... There is nothing but God. He is the only Reality, and we all are one in the indivisible Oneness of this absolute Reality. ... the Oneness of Reality is so uncompromisingly Unlimited and All-pervading that not only “We are One,” but even this collective term of “We” has no place in the Infinite Indivisible Oneness. Awaken from your ignorance, and try at least to understand that ... not only is the Avatar God, but also the ant and the sparrow, just as one and all of you, are nothing but God. The only apparent difference is in the states of consciousness.... Live not in ignorance. Do not waste your precious life-span in differentiating and judging your fellow-men, but learn to long for the love of God. Even in the midst of your worldly activities, live only to find and realize your true Identity with your Beloved. Be pure and simple, and love all because all are one. Live a sincere life; be natural, and be honest with yourself. (223-4)
[Sept. 14, 1954:] If you had but a glimpse of what I really am, you would forget yourselves completely and be conscious only of God. (226)
Can anyone imagine how I am here and simultaneously everywhere? (247)
The mind can never attain to the One who transcends the mind. (239)
God is your innermost Self.... Try to grasp what this means. ... Who am I? I am not this body.... I am not energy.... I am also not mind. Then who am I? ... I am That which is not body, not energy, not mind. (240-1)
You have to become what you already are. You are God, but you must become God. (242)
If we love God, we become him. (260)
To find me, you have to lose yourself. (253)
Sahaj Samadhi [Natural Oneness or Absorption] is Nirvikalpa [Formless] Samadhi in action when one is fully conscious of the universe. Such a one, when he speaks, eats, moves about, plays, or does anything, is enjoying Nirvikalpa Samadhi all the time.... Sahaj Samadhi means effortless Oneness. (246)
In Eternity there is no time. Nothing has ever happened, and nothing ever will happen. Billions of years ago you were; today you are here, ever afterwards you will be. ... When one has experience of Eternity, one knows that God Is. To say that God was, is and will be, is wrong. All Eternity is now present at this moment. So I say, “God Is.” ... The temporary effect [i.e., space-time] is illusion. So it goes on: God and illusion running parallel. Illusion says everything is happening, God says nothing happens. (259)
Whatever you can understand is not God. (259)
My ways are so unfathomable that sometimes I too cannot fathom them. If you had but a glimpse of me as I am, you would lose consciousness. Love me and you will be loving God. (262)
I never die. I am always the Ancient One. You should all remember that God alone is real, all else is illusion. (272)
When I drop my body, I shall remain in all who love me. I can never die. Love me, obey me, and you will find me. (298)
My advent is not to destroy illusion because illusion, as it is, is absolutely nothing. I come to make you become aware of the nothingness of illusion. (275)
The eyes of man see things that are not worth seeing and that which is Real is not seen by physical eyes. My instructions will help to see inwardly what alone is worth seeing. (294)
Everything exists because I exist. (285)
Whatever is to happen will happen. (292)
[All the teachings following, up to p. 337, come from Baba’s talks at the May 1958 sahvas at Myrtle Beach, SC:]
I may give you much, much more, than you expect—or maybe nothing, and that nothing may prove to be everything. So I say, come with open hearts to receive much or nothing from your Divine Beloved. Come prepared to receive not so much of my words but of my Silence. (296)
Tomorrow we will start discourses. Now let us have some jokes. (299)
Sahawas [sahvas] means intimate companionship. ... How do I participate in the sahavas? I bow down to myself., I embrace myself. ... It is Baba who sits here on the dais seat and it is Baba who squats on the ground in the tent. Baba meets “Baba”: Baba consoles “Baba,” pets “Baba,” chides “Baba.” It is all Baba, Baba, Baba. Such is my experience of participation in the sahavas. (300)
I tell you, I know everything; I am all-knowing. ... It is definite that I am in everyone. ... Of what use is it to have my photo on paper? It is better to establish me in your hearts. (301)
Mind ... cannot be removed without my grace. ... Only by loving me as I ought to be loved, can the mind be destroyed.... If you love me with all your heart, you shall be made free eternally. (301-2)
The affairs of the universe continue to go on without being burdensome to me in the least. But the discourses and explanations on the subject of the affairs of the universe are a headache to me. The affairs of the universe continue without my paying special attention to them. They continue to work as naturally as one’s breathing.... Giving you discourses and explanations is burdensome to me.... Playing marbles, gilli-danda, cricket and flying kites... these unburden the burden. ... But whether I am burdened or relaxed makes no difference; for as I really am, I am beyond all this. (302)
The ultimate experience can be had only after the heart is completely purified. God forgives everything except hypocrisy. (303)
Saint and sinner, high and low, rich and poor, healthy and sick, man and woman, young and old, beautiful and ugly are all equal in my eyes. Why? Because I am in everyone. (304)
In illusion there is time and space. In reality there is no time and space. (304)
Until this moment nothing has happened; after this moment, nothing will happen. Every moment of the present is the real moment. In the present is embodied the past and the future—in my real state from eternity. I am the Ancient One and creation is my shadow: so I know what has happened and will happen before and after millions of years, which is nothing but illusion. What I want to tell you is that I know everything. I am in each of you and everywhere. As conscious real “I” in this false “I” of yours, I know everything.... You have been caught here in the snare of maya; and the accumulation of sanskaras makes you get more and more involved in maya.... All this life is a dream. The past and future are not there. There is only the Eternal Now in the everlasting present. (304)
You have to drop this body sooner or later. Why not then think that your body is not there already and so act detached?... God is in everyone and in everything. And because God is in everyone and everything he knows everything. So be resigned completely to his will. Once you were a child; now you have grown up... you have gone through moments of great joy and sorrow. Where has all that gone? The fact is neither joy nor sorrow was there; it is due to maya that you think of and experience things which have no foundation. Within 20 or 30 years you will also forget the thoughts and events of today. So the best thing for you to do is just to love me. ... I alone endure; all else is but a passing show! ... I tell you all, all this is a dream. You do not realize it. When you are asleep and dreaming and I give you a sharp slap in the dream, you become wide awake. Only then do you realize that it was all just a dream. (304-5)
The infinite real “I,” which is One and in all, is seemingly split into innumerable, finite false “I’s” ... the One real “I” plays the part of innumerable finite false “I’s,” in multifarious ways and in varying degrees. The main support of false “I” is ignorance. False “I” utilizes three channels or means for its expressions—the gross body (physical body), the subtle body (energy), and the mental body (mind). In other words, with the support of ignorance the real “I” takes itself as false “I” and tries to derive fun out of the situation. In doing this, the false “I” continuously gets set-backs and endures great suffering. Eventually, the real “I” gets fed up and stops playing the part of false “I.” As soon as the real “I” stops playing the part of the false “I,” it becomes conscious of its (real) pristine state. This consciousness is eternal. It also realizes that being eternally happy its experience of being fed up was nonsensical ignorance.... The aim of all yogas is one. The aim is that the false ego ... should disappear, and the Real Ego [Divine Consciousness] be manifested in its reality. (306)
The path of Love (prem-yoga) is unique, because on it the Real “I” plays the part of the false “I,” while it itself covertly remains in the background as the Beloved. And, while continuing to play this part, it burns or consumes its false ego, to remain ultimately itself as the Beloved.... Eventually, when the false “I” is totally consumed, there remains neither the false “I” nor love. The Beloved, as the real “I,” reigns supreme as the One Infinite, Indivisible Self. (307)
You must be unconscious; yet a hundred per cent conscious. In sound sleep you go back to the original state but are not conscious of it; when you are in that state all the time but conscious at the same time, then you have found me. (308)
God is One. He is both father and mother in One. He is in everyone and in everything; but God is beyond this too. (314)
Do not give undue importance to explanations and discourses. Words fail to give any meaning to Reality. (315)
All this is a show, fun, a play. Mind must go, because the play lies in the mind. And the play is that mind must annihilate itself. Only manonash [annihilation of selfish ego-mind] takes one to reality. There is a way to annihilate the mind. The way is love. (315)
I am the Ancient One, the One residing in every heart. Therefore, love others, make others happy, serve others, even at discomfort to yourself; this is to love me.... I am One with all on every level; I am One with all on every plane of consciousness; and I am beyond all planes of consciousness. (316)
What is required is that [an individual], instead of doing things in the outer direction, turns inwardly and sees everything as infinite. Just a turn, and [one] sees [oneself] as Infinite.... If you take a complete turn, you experience yourself as infinite.... Nothing remains but your Self. Have you any idea of that bliss? It is continual, without a break, everlasting, never-changing. [...] What does a Perfect Master do? He makes the self turn completely around, make a complete roundabout turn, and the self disappears. The self goes, and God remains. (317-18, 331)
Perfect Masters are free of sanskaras: they have no [karmic] impressions. As such, there cannot be room for actions of their own: their life is one of inaction but made active because of the prevailing environmental circumstances. (318)
Our bondage is due to actions. Good action is a binding and bad action is a binding. One has to go beyond actions, then there is no binding. One cannot go beyond actions unless one is in sound sleep because of impressions which need expression. Expression in turn creates actions, and actions create bindings. When you sleep soundly, you are in the original state of God. There are no bindings, no actions. But past actions demand that you get up, so you start putting your impressions into action. The goal is to go to that original state of yours of inaction, but consciously. ... How can you be free of actions? ... Love is the remedy.... We have seen the masts: they love me so intensely there is no occasion for sleeping, talking or eating. (319)
[Then Baba had My Wish read out:] My wish for my lovers is as follows: 1. Do not shirk your responsibilities. 2. Attend faithfully to your worldly duties, but keep always at the back of your mind that all this is Baba’s. 3. When you feel happy, think: “Baba wants me to be happy.” When you suffer, think: “Baba wants me to suffer.” 4. Be resigned to every situation and think honestly and sincerely: “Baba has placed me in this situation.” 5. With the understanding that Baba is in everyone, try to help and serve others. 6. I say with my Divine Authority to each and all that whosoever takes my name at the time of breathing his last comes to me: so do not forget to remember me in your last moments.... Even if you take my name only once every day, you will not forget to remember me in your dying moments. (320)
One who lives for himself is truly dead and one who dies for God is truly alive. (322)
You are the Infinite One, but as a body you have beginning and end; as the Infinite Ocean—of which you are the drop as body—there is no beginning and no end. To experience your real Self is the goal. You are and you will ever be. There is no one else but You. Instantly, in a flash, you will know everything... But this knowing will have nothing to do with mind, reason, logic. It is beyond mind. You know the answer to everything, you know that nothing has happened and nothing will ever happen. You then experience bliss, you become all-powerful, all-knowing. (322)
What happened yesterday? Nothing. What will happen tomorrow? Nothing. All happens now. This experience of everything happening at this very moment is dnyan [jnana], knowledge, wisdom. It has nothing to do with the mind, reason. One who has this experience of eternal knowledge—dnyan—is wise. ... [Only a ] rare being knows that there is no such thing as yesterday or tomorrow. There is the Eternal NOW from the beginningless beginning to the endless end. There is one moment only—the ETERNAL NOW. He, who experiences the Eternal NOW, finds all doubts, worries, everything dissolved like mist, and remains in eternal bliss. (323)
There is one real birth and one real death. You are born once and you really die only once. What is the real birth? It is the birth of a “drop” in the Ocean of Reality.... the advent of individuality.... What is meant by the real death? It is consciousness getting free of all limitations. Freedom from all limitations is real death; ... it is liberation. In between the real birth and the real death, there is no such reality as the so-called births and deaths. ... Real dying is equal to real living. Die for God and you will live as God. (327)
Only love counts. If the most unintelligent one can love me as I ought to be loved, he is infinitely more blessed than the most intelligent one who doesn’t know how to love me. (328)
On the 6th plane, one sees nothing but God everywhere; one sees nothing and Everything. There is still duality: the seer and the seen. The seer sees nothing but God. When the seer crosses the 6th plane with the help of a Perfect Master and is pushed across the abyss, his experience is of an infinite vacuum. It cannot be described; there is neither seer nor seen; not nothing—not anything; it is Real Nothing. But this Real Nothing is immediately followed by Union with God who is Everything. The vacuum is infinite and it must be filled by the infinite. That is the experience when one is pushed into the 7th plane. (329)
As the angle of vision of consciousness changes, your experience changes. In the end you experience yourself as God, which is the ultimate experience, the real experience. All other experiences of the gross, subtle, mental worlds are illusion. So are all the states of heaven, hell, limbo, planes. ...I repeat, the mental, subtle, gross worlds are all phenomena, illusion. There is no reality but God. All else is illusion. (330, 338)
Remain happy under every illusory circumstance. (334)
Why do I say, everything is here within you? It is not above or beneath; the difference is only in the state of consciousness. For example, ... the consciousness of the ant when compared with yours is insignificant. You are conscious of planes flying over... You also know about air flights and so many things. But the ant on the same floor with you is not aware of planes. The difference between the experience of the ant and your experience is very great, though you are both on the same gross level. So similarly the difference between your experience and my experience is like that between you and the ant; we are here together in the same room and on the same floor, but to me you appear as the ants appear to you! (334)
The highest experience is the experience of oneness which cannot even be called oneness. And the most exalted spiritual status is that of one who manifests unity in duality. That means one, who, after becoming one with God, through love for all, brings God down to earth. (335)
If you just take my name at the moment of dropping your body, you will come to me.... “To come to me” means experiencing me as I am. No more bondage of births and deaths. (337)
[Baba’s “Universal Message,” read out at a gathering of a few hundred at Meherabad, July 10, 1958:]
I have not come to teach but to awaken. Understand therefore that I lay down no precepts. Throughout eternity I have laid down principles and precepts, but mankind has ignored them. Man’s inability to live God’s words makes the Avatar’s teaching a mockery. Instead of practicing the compassion he taught, man has waged crusades in his name. Instead of living the humility, purity and truth of his words, man has given way to hatred, greed and violence. Because man has been deaf to the principles and precepts laid down by God in the past, in this present avataric form I observe Silence. You have asked me for and been given enough words—it is now time to live them. To get nearer and nearer to God you have to get further and further away from “I,” “My,” and “Mine.” You have not to renounce anything but your own self. It is as simple as that, though found to be almost impossible. It is possible for you to renounce your limited self by my Grace. I have come to release that Grace.... When I release the tide of Truth which I have come to give, men’s daily lives will be the living precept. The words I have not spoken will come to life in them. I veil myself from man by his own curtain of ignorance, and manifest my Glory to a few. ... I am the Divine Beloved who loves you more than you can ever love yourself. The breaking of my Silence will help you to help yourself in knowing your real Self. All this world confusion and chaos was inevitable and no one is to blame. What had to happen has happened and what has to happen will happen. There was and is no way out except through my coming in your midst. I had to come, and I have come. I am the Ancient One. (343-4)
[Baba’s “God Alone Is” discourse was also read out on July 10, 1958:] Infinite consciousness can never lessen at any point in time or space. Infinite consciousness includes every aspect of consciousness. Unconsciousness is one of the aspects of infinite consciousness.... I am infinite consciousness. I am everything and I am beyond, beyond everything. I am ever conscious that I am in you, while you are never conscious that I am in you. Daily I support you and share your consciousness. Now I want you to uphold me and share my consciousness one day. Man being unconscious ... it is not easy for man to accept and keep on accepting under all circumstances that God Is.... Realization means that instead of being fully conscious that he is man, man becomes fully conscious that he is God, was God, has always been God and will ever remain God.... Before he can know Who he is, man has to un-learn the mass of illusory knowledge he has burdened himself with on the journey from unconsciousness to consciousness. ... God-love penetrates the illusion.... Start learning to love God by beginning to love those whom you cannot. You will find that in serving others you are serving yourself. The more you remember others with kindness and generosity, the less you remember yourself; and the less you remember yourself the more you forget yourself. And when you completely forget yourself, you find me as the Source of all Love. God has come again and again in various forms, has spoken again and again in different words and different languages the Same One Truth—but how many are there that live up to it? ... Man’s inability to live God’s words makes them a mockery. How many Christians follow Christ’s teaching to “turn the other cheek,” or “to love thy neighbour as thyself?” How many Muslims follow Muhammad’s precept to “hold God above everything else”? How many Hindus “bear the torch of righteousness at all cost”? How many Buddhists live the “life of pure compassion”? How many Zoroastrians “think truly, speak truly, act truly”? God’s Truth cannot be ignored; and thus by mankind’s ignorance and weakness a tremendous adverse reaction is produced—and the world finds itself in a cauldron of suffering through wars, hate, conflicting ideologies, and nature’s rebellion in the form of floods, famines, earthquakes and other disasters. Ultimately when the apex is reached, God manifests anew in human form to guide mankind... that it may be re-established in the Divine Truth. My silence and the imminent breaking of my silence is to save mankind from the forces of ignorance, and to fulfil the divine Plan of universal unity. (344-6)
To get to the fundamental core of Truth underlying all religions, reach beyond religion. (345)
[To a western visitor in Feb. 1959:] Don’t renounce the world: renounce your own lower self. Don’t seek solitude anywhere but within your own self. Silently cry out within your own self, “Beloved One, reveal yourself to me as my own real infinite Self.” It is you who are obstructing yourself from finding your Self, so try to lose your lower self in continued remembrance of God, who is your real Self. Don’t become Master of disciples till you have mastered you own self. (347)
There is only one true yoga, and that is “you go.” I know of no other yoga than “you go.” (348)
Love and understanding never condemn, but seek to help and encourage.... God never condemns us or turns us from his door; so we should not condemn even those who condemn us.... We should think well of those who think ill of us. (353)
[At the Nov. 1962 East-West Gathering, Baba communicated:] God is indivisibly one and indivisibly in each one. God is each one. What are the divisions? ... There are no divisions.... The bubble of the mind does not know that it is the ocean until the bubble bursts. [...] I have come to remind all people that they should live on earth as the children of one Father until my Grace awakens them to the realization that they are all one without a second.... Most Blessed are they who do not even long for my Grace, but simply seek to do my Will. (361-4)
May my love make you feel one day that God is in everyone. (364)
[From Baba’s message, “My Dear Workers,” at the 1962 East-West Gathering:] The way of my work is the way of effacement, which is the way of strength, not of weakness; and through it you become mature in my love. (368)
[Purdom: “When I was with him at Poona in 1954, he said to me quite unexpectedly, ‘You are bothered about the idea of Avatar. There is no need to be, for we are all Avatars.’ This was an instance of his knowing what was in one’s mind before one had given expression to it... He followed this remark ten days later by a declaration:”] When I say I am the Avatar, there are a few who feel happy, some who feel shocked, and many who take me for a hypocrite, a fraud, a supreme egoist, or just mad. If I were to say every one of you is an Avatar, a few would be tickled and many would consider it a blasphemy or a joke. The fact that God being One, indivisible and equally in us all, we can be naught else but one, is too much for the duality-conscious mind. Yet each of us is what the other is. I know I am the Avatar in every sense of the word, and that each one of you is an Avatar in one sense or another.... Therefore it is God who makes me say I am the Avatar, and that each one of you is an Avatar. (391-2)
From: Listen, Humanity (from a sahvas program in 1955 and original essays of the 1950s)
There is no creature which is not destined for the supreme goal, as there is no river which is not winding its way towards the sea. But only in the human form is consciousness so developed that it is capable of expressing the perfection of its own true self, which is the Self of all. However, even in the human form the soul is prevented from realizing its birthright of joy and fulfillment because of the burden of sanskaras [egoic mental-emotional habit patterns] which it has accumulated as a by-product of its arduous development of consciousness. Like the dust that accumulates on the shoes of a traveler on foot, these sanskaras are gathered by the pilgrim as he treads the evolutionary path. In the human form, which is the crowning product of evolution, the divine life is enmeshed in the sanskaric deposits of the mind. The expression of the divine life is therefore curtailed and distorted by the distractions of the sanskaras, which weld consciousness instead to the fascinations of the false-phenomenal. One by one the many-colored attachments to the false must be relinquished. Bit by bit the sanskaric tinder feeding the deceptive flames of the separative ego must be replaced by the imperative evidence of the unquenchable flame of truth. Only in this manner can man ascend to the height of divine attainment … The life in eternity knows no bondage, decay or sorrow. It is the everlasting and ever renewing self-affirmation of conscious, illimitable divinity. My mission is to help you inherit this hidden treasure of the Self. (xvii)
I am not religious … because I am the only One in the whole of creation. (11)
For ages and ages I have been with you, nearer to you than you feel yourself to be. (12)
During this precious week [one of four sahvas retreat programs with Baba at Meherabad in Nov. 1955], try at least to forget everything else so that your hearts will remain clean and open for me to step in. Do not notice either your failings, weaknesses and shortcomings, or your prestige, position, learning and so-called knowledge of spiritual things. Try to forget what you think you already know. (12)
To have a passing thought, and to keep thinking of it, are two different things…. Do not worry about thoughts. Never try to force your mind to check your thoughts. Thoughts may and will come. Do not try either to invite them or to drive them away. Let the thoughts come and go unasked. (12-13)
I have descended to your level for the one purpose of bestowing my love on you so that you may love God and become God. The rest is all illusion. (13-14)
To garland me, to bow down to me and to sing my praises are comparatively the three most unimportant things. The three most important things on the path to God-realization are love, obedience and surrender. Love is a gift from God to man, obedience is a gift from master to man, and surrender is a gift from man to master. (16-17)
Love is real intelligence capable of realizing truth; intellect is best suited to know all about duality, which is born of ignorance and is entirely ignorance. (17)
One must, so to speak, slough off body, energy, mind and all else, and become dust under the feet of the beloved. This dust of a lover who cannot remain alive without God—just as an ordinary man cannot live without breath—is then transformed into the beloved. Thus man becomes God. (18)
To know me as I am you must become conscious of my real state, and for that you must love me as I love you. … You and I remain divided by nothing but the veil of you, yourself…. It is this “I,” “me” and “mine” which is the veil…. When the curtain of your limited “I” is lifted—and it can only disappear through love and love alone--you—realize unity and find me as your real Self, i.e., God. I say so because it is only I, everywhere. There is really nothing like “you.” … In finality, I remain; everything else is zero, and I am the only reality. (18, 21)
Love God and become God. (20)
If you obey me honestly you will become me—your own real Self. (21)
Under all circumstances I always remain what I really am. (34)
I definitely know from my living experience that God is the one and only reality, and that all else is illusion. All that you see and hear at this moment—this hall, our being in each other’s presence, these explanations which I give and you hear, and even my incarnation as the Avatar—all this is a dream. Every night you go to sleep and have different kinds of dreams, yet every morning you wake up to experience anew the same old dream that you have been dreaming since your birth into your present life in illusion. You will say, “Baba, we are wide awake; we actually see you sitting before us…” But you will admit that you would say the same thing to me if, in a dream, you found that you were near me and heard me telling you that all you felt, saw and heard was a dream. As long as you do not wake up from a dream, you are dream-bound to feel it to be stark reality. A dream becomes a dream only when you wake up; only then do you tell others that the life you lived in the dream was just a dream. Good or bad, happy or unhappy, in reality the dream is then recognized as having been absolutely nothing. Therefore I repeat that, although you are now sitting before me and hearing me, you are not really awake. You are actually sleeping and dreaming. I say this because I am simultaneously awake in the real sense and yet dreaming—with one and all—the dreams which all dream. All your pleasures and difficulties, your feelings of happiness and misery, your presence here and your listening to these explanations, all are nothing but a vacant dream on your part and mine. There is this one difference: I also consciously know the dream to be a dream, while you feel that you are awake. When you really wake up you will know at once that what you felt to be wakefulness was just dreaming. Then you will realize that you and I are and always have been one in reality. All else will then disappear, just as your ordinary dreams disappear on waking. Then they not only cease to exist, but they are found never to have really existed….First you are young; then you grow old and die without knowing or caring from whence you came or whither you go. From “Who am I?” to “I am God” is just one long, long dream covering ages and ages in time. But this too is found never to have existed in the eternity and infinitude of your own existence, at the moment you realize your real Self, or God. Every individual here and elsewhere is the same one, ever-indivisible God. I say this because I am responsible for the whole creation. If I am not here, then not only will you not be here, but the whole of creation with all its gross, subtle and mental spheres will not be here. In short, everything exists because I exist. In your case also the whole of creation exists because you exist. When you sleep soundly, then for you everything—body, mind, world and the universe—vanishes and is absorbed in your sound-sleep state, the most-original, beyond-beyond state of God. Then your consciousness, tired of focusing on the illusion of duality, is at rest within you. After being refreshed in the most-original, beyond-beyond state of God, your consciousness plunges you first into the dreams-in-sleep, and then you wake up once again within the dream of creation. This dream of creation emanates again and again from you and for you. This process of repetitive sleeping-dreaming-awakening is a result of your inability to wake up in your sound-sleep state (i.e., conscious union with God). Therefore alternately you remain asleep or keep dreaming either the dreams-in-sleep or the dreams of creation. It is only when you wake up in the true sense (God-realization) that you find that you alone (God) exist and that all else is nothing. Only after cycles and cycles of time can one attain one’s own conscious state of God and find that one’s infinite consciousness is eternally free of all illusion of duality. The whole of creation is a play of thoughts: the outcome of the mind. It is your mind which binds you, and it is also the mind which is the means of your freedom. You are eternally free. You are not bound at all. But you cannot realize your freedom by merely hearing this from me, because your mind contrives to entangle you in the illusion of duality…. For that truth, you must let your mind be halted and finally rooted out. Then, as soon as you see me as I really am, everything else will disappear and you will find yourself to be your own eternal and infinite Self. (36-8)
To realize God is to become God. This means consciously experiencing that you are God…. The state of God-realization cannot be described. It can only be known to those who achieve that supreme experience of the conscious state of God. It is beyond the domain of the mind, which persists only through the sixth plane of spiritual consciousness. At that stage, God is seen through the mind as being everywhere, all the time. But that is not the supreme experience [of the seventh plane], as the “seer” and the “seen” still remain two. (40, 61)
Whatever brings you nearer to the path and suits you best, is best for you, provided you are able to put it into practice whole-heartedly and in harmony with the natural bent of your mind. … Although born a Zoroastrian, all religions are the same to me insofar as they help men to come nearer and nearer to God, who is ever most near to man. (41-2)
It is better not to worship if your heart is not in it. Any prayer made mechanically in a spirit of show or ceremony is all a farce. It results in greater bindings through one’s pretence to purity. (42)
Why should you necessarily give up eating, drinking, doing your duty to your wife and children and looking after the welfare of others? Such duties do not obstruct your way to the path at all. What do come in your way are the bindings which you create unnecessarily for yourself through attachment to the objects connected with those duties. You can own the world without being attached to it, so long as you do not allow yourself to be owned by any part of it. (42-3)
Your mind remains bound by the impressions. Even when the body itself is dropped you do not become free, for your mind remains bound by the impressions which the mind has created. […] Every action, significant or insignificant, voluntary or involuntary, is at once impressed in turn upon your mind. Like a non-greasy stain, a light impression can be easily wiped out, but impressions caused by actions conceived in anger, lust or greed are hard to remove. In short, actions produce impressions, and impressions produce thoughts. Thoughts in turn tend to precipitate further action. For the purification of your heart, leave your thoughts alone, but maintain a constant vigil over your actions. When you have thoughts of anger, lust or greed, do not worry about them, and do not try to check them. Let all such thoughts come and go without putting them into action. Try to think counter-thoughts in order to discern … [and] unlearn the actions which are prompted by your own impressions. It is better to feel angry sometimes than merely to suppress anger. You then have an opportunity to think about anger, its causes and its consequences. Although your mind may be angry, do not let your heart know it. Remain unaffected…. Let the thoughts of anger, lust and greed come and go freely and unasked without putting them into words and deeds. Then the related impressions in your mind begin to wear out and become less and less harmful…. The fire of divine love alone can destroy all impressions once and for all. … Therefore, when you feel angry or have lustful thoughts, remember Baba at once…. At least remember to remember me when you breathe your last, and you will still come to me. But how will you remember at the last moment, unless you start to remember me right now? (42, 44-5)
I am eager to have done with these words and to finish what we must say during this week of sahvas. Then perhaps we can play games of marbles and listen to devotional music and do other things which are not as dreary as all this talking. (46)
When you realize your own self, you will find that … nothing has ever happened or will happen. There is no such thing as time. The present moment is, from the beginningless beginning. And everything that IS, IS at this moment. There is no past or future. (49)
I have come so that you can escape from the cage of maya, and experience (know) me in your lifetime…. Realize that all else—beauty, money, position, worlds, universes—is as valueless as a zero in comparison with God, who alone is worth seeing and becoming. (62)
[A Sanskrit scholar reciting verses to Baba with great feeling, bursts into tears and asks forgiveness for his sins. Baba embraces him and strokes his shoulder and damp cheeks:] Don’t be afraid. You need not tell me any more…. I know everything, and everything will be forgiven…. In reality there is nothing to be forgiven, for there is really nothing like good and bad. You find them so, and they are there in duality, due to your own bindings in duality. In the bondage of duality there is good and there is bad, but in reality everything but God is zero. Maya, which causes you to mistake illusion for reality, is present for you but not for me. For me, only I am, and nothing else exists. It therefore means nothing for me to forgive, and everything for you to be forgiven. Forgiveness consists in loosening the bindings of duality in maya, which makes you feel and find the One as many. Therefore “I forgive you” amounts to the loosening of your bindings. … Regardless of the accumulated dirt and refuse of sins, divine forgiveness burns them away in no time. (68)
Forget the past and make the most of the present. (73)
I have not come to teach and I need no preachers… Suppose one of my followers is speaking before a gathering and trying to tell them that Baba is reality and all else is illusion. Suppose that just then a telegram is given to him which tells of a bus accident in which all of his family has been killed. If, in spite of the tragedy and pain of what has happened, he continues to speak with greater conviction, then he has achieved real authority to speak about me and my teachings…. Learn to love each other first before you tell others about my love for one and all. Give love, receive love, gather love; everything else is dissolved eventually in the truth of divine love. Let your own life of love for Baba be the message of Baba’s love for one and all. (71-4)
You will take photos of Baba with you, but what Baba wants you to do is to take Baba with you. (81)
In reality, there is nothing such as death or birth…. Really, none comes or goes, none is born or dies. But to experience this truth we must first free ourselves from the bondage of our ignorance. After a hundred years or so you will all have dropped your bodies, and yet you will still exist. Do not think about your bodies, but think only about me…. My miracle will be to make you become me. (86)
I have not the least objection if you go to meet saints of any religious sect, pay them your respects, and remain in their company. They are all in me. (86)
For self-realization, all sanskaras must be completely wiped out…. In order to be wiped out in toto, sanskaras must be annulled or cancelled through the process of exact-equalization or perfect qualitative and quantitative balancing of all opposite sanskaras, whether good or bad…. While unbalance of the opposite sanskaras reaches its maximum in an incarnate life, near balancing is achieved after death during a period of discarnate life, through the intense subjective pleasure or suffering in the states known as heaven and hell. Each incarnate life is an opportunity for the realization of one’s true self. Each death or discarnate life is an opportunity for achieving a semblance of balance to start another birth, with its further chance at self-realization. If the opportunity were fully taken, one incarnate life could be sufficient to make the individual realize this goal…. The contact of a Perfect Master is invaluable in calling a halt to the dizzy gyrations of incarnate and discarnate lives in illusion, and awakening the individual to the real knowledge of self. (97-8)
Death is like throwing away clothes which have become useless through wear and tear…. The individual goes on changing bodies according to the needs of his sanskaras…. The true death of the individual occurs at that moment when he transcends his limited individuality or separative consciousness by being taken up in the truth-consciousness of the unlimited and undivided being of God. The true death of the individual consists in the complete disappearance of the limiting ego-mind that has created the sanskaric veil of ignorance…. This dissolution of the ego-mind and the freeing of the soul from the illusion of separative limited individuality are known as liberation… ultra-sanskaric individuality…. A state beyond the opposites… true poise rooted in unbroken consciousness of infinite unity…. Only in God-realization does the tenacious chain of recurrent incarnations reach final fulfillment and termination. It is a state of eternal existence, free from birth or death. It is true immortality or deathlessness, by virtue of the fact that it is above the birth and death of the body. True immortality is not the survival of the limited individual in the period following the death of the physical body.... The individual cannot and does not thereupon attain to final freedom from birth and death. Survival should not be confused with deathlessness—which is true immortality. The chain of alternating incarnate and discarnate life is only a survival of consciousness-plus-ignorance, and ignorance makes true life impossible.... Only in liberation can consciousness arrive at that true immortality which lies beyond all curtailment and obscurity. The individual who has achieved realization of the truth is initiated into eternal and unlimited life, for the limiting ego-mind with all its attendant sanskaras has undergone a death that is final. In this process, the limited individuality is shed and the soul is invested with unlimited, divine individuality. (105, 108-11)
Sleep is the means by which the mind withdraws temporarily from the pressure exerted by its age-old load of impressions and desires. Through sleep the mind refreshes itself temporarily for further participation in the game of “becoming self-conscious.” If the self were completely aware of its true God-nature during waking consciousness it would find no need to withdraw into the self-forgetfulness of sleep. Its spontaneous joy would be an eternal wellspring of divine refreshment. (119)
The separate “I-consciousness” is in complete abeyance during deep sleep, the individual soul is in actual union with the infinite Self. When sleep is dreamless, the individual soul is resting in the undisturbed tranquility of the most-original beyond-beyond state of God. But inasmuch as sleep is a submergence of consciousness into oblivion, it does not bestow upon the soul the conscious realization of the truth that the soul will eventually experience when consciousness is freed of all impressions, good as well as bad. Even this unconscious contact with infinity—the abode of all bliss and power—gives to the mind a new tone and vigor. (121)
When finite consciousness of the mind in its stark awareness of [its own] futility and falseness capitulates wholly to the infinite truth, the soul becomes one with that truth in self-realization.... In being absorbed by the infinite, consciousness is completely freed of one and all illusions and can be called superconsciousness, in which state its former limited helplessness is transmuted into unlimited power.... No longer is there need for consciousness to be submerged into the oblivion of sleep in order to achieve unconscious union of the self with the universal Self. The conscious union that the individual self has now established with the universal Self is an unfading attainment that persists forever. ... In superconsciousness the soul experiences itself as all-mighty, its bliss is unbounded and its continuous awareness of itself as the infinite truth admits no slightest interruption by the self-forgetfulness of the ordinary sleep-, dream- or wake-state. (126)
Wars must be so clearly seen by all to be both unnecessary and unreasonable that the immediate problem will not be to stop wars, but to wage them spiritually against the attitude of mind which generated them.... Real peace and happiness will dawn spontaneously when selfishness is purged. The peace and happiness that come from self-giving love are permanent. (129-30)
The individual must understand fully his identity with the supreme universal Soul. Having perceived this truth, he will find that his life rearranges spontaneously so that his attitude towards his neighbor in everyday life becomes different. Then he will act upon the spiritual value of oneness, which promotes true cooperation. Brotherhood is a spontaneous outcome of true perception. (133)
It is now high time for humanity to face squarely the true causes of the catastrophe of war. It is now high time to seek a new experience of reality. It is high time that men have a fresh vision that all life is one in God, who alone is real and all that matters. God is worth living for, and He is worth dying for; all else is a vain and empty pursuit of illusory value. (134)
The fact that a person is a spiritual aspirant does not release him from his duty to the social whole.... It is a mistake to divorce spirituality from material considerations, for the latter have some spiritual importance. It is not by ignoring human suffering but by handling it with creative love that the gate is opened to life eternal. It is not through callous indifference, but by active and selfless service that one attains the transcendental and illimitable truth that lies at the heart of the illusory universe. (139)
The minds of people have to be purged completely of all forms of selfishness and narrowness if they are to inherit life in eternity. It is by no means an easy task to persuade people to give up these traits! It is not by accident that people are divided into the rich and the poor, the pampered and the neglected, the rulers and the ruled, the leaders and the masses, the oppressors and the oppressed, the high and the low, the winners of laurels and the recipients of ignominy. These differences are created and sustained by the spiritually ignorant, who are so attached to difference that they are not even conscious of its perversity. (193)
When crisis is upon one, let one’s thoughts not be for self, but for others—for the claims of the divine Self which exists equally in all. (140)
Man must try to remedy his own defects instead of clamoring about the faults of others. The world will soon realize that neither cults, creeds, and ceremonies on the one hand, nor passionate striving for material welfare on the other, can ever bring about real happiness—but that selfless love and universal brotherhood can accomplish it. (144)
Only spiritual freedom is absolute and unlimited; when it is won through persistent effort, it is won forever.... The individual never achieves true freedom until he is no longer pushed or pulled by any inner compulsion.... Fully conscious, eternal experience of spiritual freedom is the inevitable and final destination for all life and for each individual being.... It is only in spiritual freedom that one can have enduring happiness and unhampered self-knowledge.... It is only in spiritual freedom that there is a final end to sorrow and limitation. It is only in spiritual freedom that one can live for all, and yet remain detached in the midst of all activity. (146-8)
Instead of stressing the need that “I” help “you,” or “you” help “me,” it should be “we” helping “us.” (150)
Truly happy people are rare in spite of the smiles which are usually the brave front for varying degrees of internal misery.... Man is longing for happiness and searching desperately for some means of breaking out of the trap which his life has become. It is not his fault if he assumes that the solution to his deep dissatisfaction lies in a sensual life, or in achievement in business or the social world, or in a life of exciting experiences.... If he would suspect that his ideas of achieving a successful and happy life were wrong, and that he must try some new way of living, then the stalemate might be broken.... Progress in the inner life of the individual is accomplished by such a breaking with the old and venturing forth into new ways. True happiness can come only to one who will find the courage to strike free of the attachments which he has formed throughout a sterile lifetime. If he will not do this, then he is shackled endlessly to the treadmill of oppressive action in which happiness is so transient that it has almost disappeared the moment it is experienced. After it has disappeared, there is left only the persistent, bottomless vacuity of mind which strangles life, regardless of repeated efforts to fill it with endless experience.... It is not easy for little children to give up their toys and it is equally difficult for adults to relinquish the mental and emotional toys to which they have become habituated. The mind of the individual is very old, and through the ages it has become deeply engrossed in playing with illusion. It has become addicted to this self-created spectacle, and has had no thought other than to go on watching with fascination through cycles and cycles of creation. (151-2)
True knowledge (gnosis) does not consist in the construction or perception of an ideology. It is the product of ripening experience that attains increasing degrees of clarity. [...] Although the unfurling realization of divine knowledge is often figuratively described as “traversing the path,” this analogy should not be taken too literally. ... Spiritual progress is not a matter of moving along a line already laid down.... Rather, it is a creation process of spiritual involution of consciousness... It is truly a pathless journey. (155, 157)
God is experienced within. In [that] sense, God is nearer the subjective realm than the objective, although ultimately He is inclusive of both, as well as beyond both. (161-2)
[After warning that each of the traditional spiritual paths can inflate the ego of the aspirant, Baba declares:] The easiest and safest way to lose one’ finite ego is by surrendering completely to the Perfect Master or to the God-man (Avatar), who is consciously one with truth. [...] The life of love of a Perfect Master is unperturbed by desires or duality.... The Perfect Master acts from the truth with which he is one, and not from any limited ego-consciousness. Hence his help is more effective than all the unaided effort the aspirant himself can make. The Perfect Master does not give something which is not already within the aspirant in latent form. He unveils the real self of the aspirant and enables him to come into his own rightful divine heritage. (163, 165)
Complete surrender to the God-man is not possible for one and all. When this is not possible, the other high roads which can eventually win the grace of God are: 1) Loving obedience to and remembrance of the God-man to the best of one’s ability; 2) Love for God and intense longing to see Him and to be united with Him; 3) Being in constant company with the saints and lovers of God and rendering them whole-hearted service; 4) Avoiding lust, greed, anger, hatred and the temptations of power, fame and faultfinding; 5) Leaving everyone and everything in complete external renunciation and, in solitude, devoting oneself to fasting, prayer and meditation; 6) Carrying on all worldly duties with a pure heart and clean mind and with equal acceptance of success or failure, while remaining detached in the midst of intense activity; and 7) Selfless service of humanity, without thought of gain or reward. In the end, all walks of life and all paths ultimately lead to the one goal, which is God. ... The high roads are important because the take the pilgrim directly to his divine destination, avoiding the prolonged wanderings in the wilderness of complicated byways in which the traveler is so often unnecessarily confused. (165-6)
Many aspirants are unable to cope with the ordeals they encounter as inner sight is opened. ... Often the aspirant becomes absorbed in the new powers now available, and he realizes that he can perform miracles and other phenomena.... Even spiritually advanced persons [such as those on the fourth plane] find it difficult to outgrow this habit of playing with illusion. It should be clearly understood that attachment to miracles is only a continuation of this habit of playing with illusion. It is not miracles, but inner illumination which will one day bring true freedom. (166-7)
The bliss experienced in this higher [sixth-plane, Marifat] realm surpasses all possible pleasures experienced in the realms of matter or energy. There is now absolutely no resistance to the direct infusion of the unceasing radiations of light, power, wisdom and bliss that overflow from the Godhead. The individual’s happiness is unutterable, his vision undimmed, his power unrestrained, his peace undisturbed, and his understanding suffers no slightest momentary impairment. He knows no lack of any kind; he continually sees God as He is.... [Yet, the sixth-plane saint] has not yet transcended duality nor realized himself as the Infinite One.... In the final ... phase of the spiritual journey, called Haqiqat, man becomes one with God as the infinite truth.... The individualized soul has completely transcended the mind and established unity with the Godhead, thereby realizing itself to be the fountainhead of infinite love, infinite peace, infinite bliss, infinite power and infinite knowledge.... It is a spontaneous overflowing in which divine consciousness sheds the glory of its superabundant life upon one and all. In this state God knows Himself as God. (168-70)
All sense of separateness and duality is only illusion, sustained by the sanskaras (impressions) of the ego-life and expressed through lust, hate and greed. Through a pure life of selfless love and service and the grace of God or a Perfect Master, it is possible to brush away these limiting sanskaras. By transcending the illusory veil of separateness, the individualized soul comes to know itself as identical with God who is the sole reality. (170)
God-realization is sometimes mistakenly considered to be the selfish aim of the limited individual, while in reality there is no room for any selfishness or limited individuality in God-realization. On the contrary, it is the final [transcending] aim of the limited and narrow life of the separate ego. ... The life of the God-realized is a pure blessing to all humanity. Within this state of God-realization, God is known and experienced to be the only reality, and as there remains nothing further to know, one aspect of this divine consciousness is omniscience. Since God is experienced as being the only One without a second, having no rival to overcome and no limitations to transcend, the individualized soul realizes a second aspect of supreme consciousness to be omnipotence.... The third aspect of divine consciousness is realized to be unlimited bliss. (170-1)
Any existence in which power is limited, knowledge imperfect or joy beclouded, is a product of false imagination and cannot satisfy the earnest seeker after God. (171)
In the truth-consciousness of Haqiqat, God knows Himself as having infinite attributes, but He has no consciousness of the universe. In a few cases, consciousness of the universe returns to the God-realized soul without in any way obscuring the totality of his divine knowledge.... God does not regard it as other than Himself.... in this state, ... God not only knows Himself as God but also as everything. He now experiences His own infinite attributes of omniscience, omnipotence and unbounded bliss also in and through the consciousness of the universe. God knows Himself as being everything, and everything as being Himself. His knowledge of Himself includes the knowledge of everything in illusion.... In this state, God not only knows Himself as God and lives as God, but works as God, coordinating the truth He has realized with the processes of the universe.... He is no longer detached from the happenings of the world [as in the first, Jivan-Mukta phase of liberation and God-Realization], and the cosmic processes and events of the world are no longer left solely to the direction of impersonal divinity. God Himself has become a person who is simultaneously fully divine and fully human, and He takes under His personal and conscious supervision the groping, struggling life-streams within the universe. The Qutubiyat- or Sadguru-state (Perfect Masterhood) is truly a state of personal God-hood.... This is a state in which God offers Himself to himself in measureless abundance, in and through the universe of duality.... The Sadguru never becomes entangled in duality. He is never bound in any way to the world of form in which he is expressing his dynamic and unlimited personality.... When his divine game in the world of form is over he drops the link to his own bodies—physical, subtle and mental, and with the universe—without sense of loss or pain. He withdraws from the scene of his divinely expressed life in illusion and draws to a close his creative manifestation in the universe.... He continues to remain conscious reality. Activity in the world constituted only action in an illusory universe. Withdrawal from it is only withdrawal from the unreal. (171-3)
Whether you like it or not, you must soon grow up and cease being childish. (179)
The whole of life is like playing the game of hide and seek, in which you must find your real self. I give you my blessings, that you may succeed in this realization that life is all-time play. God alone is real, all else is false, and so you must try to love God who is within us all. (179)
Be content with your lot, rich or poor, happy or miserable. Understand that God has designed it for your own good, and be resigned to His will. ... You eternally were and always will be. You have had innumerable forms as man and woman, beautiful and ugly, strong and weak, healthy and sickly, powerful and helpless, and now you are here again in another form. Until you gain spiritual freedom you will be invested with many such forms, so why seek temporary relief now which will only result in further bindings later? Do not ask God for money, fame, power, health or children, but seek His grace and it will lead you to eternal bliss. (184)
On this path there can be no halting or return. Everyone must get to the top, which is the direct realization of the supreme Godhead. ... The best of all forces, which can overcome all difficulties on the way, is the love that knows how to give without need to bargain for a return. There is nothing that love cannot achieve, and there is nothing that love cannot sacrifice.... All other essential qualities will come to the aspirant if he follows faithfully the whisperings of the unerring voice of love that speaks from his own heart, shedding light on the path.... The heart without love is entombed in unending darkness and suffering. (186)
Pure love is matchless in majesty; it has no parallel in power, and there is no darkness it cannot dispel. It is the undying flame that has set all life aglow. (187)
Love is different from lust. In lust there is dependence upon the physical object, and thus spiritual subordination of the soul to it. Love puts the soul into direct, coordinate relation with the reality which lies behind the form. Therefore lust is experienced as being heavy, but love is experienced as being light. In lust there is a narrowing down of life, while in love there is an expansion of being. To have loved one soul is like adding its life to your own. Your life is multiplied and you live virtually in two centers. If you love the whole world, you live vicariously in the whole world. But in lust there is an ebbing of life and generation of a sense of hopeless dependence upon a form which is regarded as another. Thus in lust there is an accentuation of separateness and suffering, but in love there is a feeling of unity and joy. Lust is dissipation, love is recreation. Lust is a craving of the senses, love is the expression of spirit. Lust seeks fulfillment, but love experiences fulfillment. In lust there is excitement, in love there is tranquility. Divine love is qualitatively different from human love. Human love is for the many in the One, and divine love is for the One in the many. (188)
Let us return love for hatred and win others over to God. (189)
If, instead of seeing faults in others, we look within ourselves, we are loving God. If instead of robbing others to help ourselves, we rob ourselves to help others, we are loving God. If we suffer in the sufferings of others and feel happy in the happiness of others, we are loving God. If, instead of worrying over our own misfortunes, we think of ourselves as more fortunate than many, many others, we are loving God. If we endure our lot with patience and contentment, accepting it as His will, we are loving God. If we understand that the greatest act of devotion towards God is not to harm any of His beings, we are loving God. To love God as He ought to be loved we must live for God and die for God, knowing that the goal of all life is to love God and find Him as our own self. (189)
We can love God by surrendering to the Sadguru or Perfect Master who is God’s personal manifestation, or to the God-man, who is God descended directly into form. To surrender to any of these is to surrender to God Himself. (189)
The final way to realize God is to love Him and lose oneself in Him through intense longing for union with Him.... In this love are embodied all the yogas known to saint and seeker. The highest aspect of this love, which surpasses love itself, is that of complete surrender to the will of the Beloved. This means complete obedience to His wishes regardless of the cost. The Perfect Masters are always immersed in the joy of this union with God and can never be snared in the mazes of the illusory universe. Therefore they do not ordinarily pay any attention to the universe other than to divert the attention of humanity from the shadow to the substance.... When one truly loves God, that love is based on the desire to give up one’s whole being to the Beloved. When one loves a Perfect Master, one longs to serve him, to surrender to his will, to obey him whole-heartedly.... Trust God completely and He will solve all difficulties. Faithfully leave everything to Him and He will see to everything.... As you love God whole-heartedly and honestly, sacrificing everything at the altar of this supreme love, you will realize the Beloved within you. (190-1)
The whole world is firmly established in the false idea of separateness and is therefore subject to all the complexities of duality.... The root-cause of the illusion of manyness lies in the soul’s identification with its bodies or with the ego-mind.... Actually, the Soul in all bodies and ego-minds is just one undivided Existence, but as It becomes confused with these bodies and ego-minds which are only vehicles, It considers Itself to be limited and looks upon Itself as being only one among the many of creation. As a consequence, most souls are unconscious of their true nature as God, who is the oneness and the reality of all souls. Thus God-realization is present in them only in latent form, inasmuch as they have not yet experienced that oneness consciously. On the other hand, those very few who have cast off the veil of duality experience the soul itself without confusing it with any medium or vehicle, and in this experience the soul consciously knows itself to be identical with God. In the realization of the truth of this oneness, life finds freedom from all limitation and suffering, for it is the self-affirmation of the Infinite as infinity. In this state of spiritual perfection the ego-life has been finally and completely surrendered in the experiencing of divine truth. God is known and affirmed as the only reality. (192-3)
Age after age, when the wick of righteousness burns low, the Avatar comes yet once again to rekindle the torch or love and truth. Age after age, through the noise and disruption of war, fear, and chaos, the Avatar’s call rings out: “Come all unto Me.” Although the veil of illusion may cause this call of the Ancient One to seem as a voice in the wilderness, still its echo and re-echoes pervade through time and space, rousing at first a few, and then millions from their deep slumber of ignorance. In the midst of illusion, as the Voice behind all voices, it awakens humanity to bear witness to the manifestation of God amidst mankind.... I continue to come as the Avatar because of the infinite love I bear for one and all.... I come to help man distinguish the real from the false. (222-3)
God is all, God knows all, and God does all.... I tell you all with my divine authority that you and I are not “we” but “One.” You unconsciously feel my Avatarhood within you. I consciously feel in you what each of you feels. Thus every one of us is the Avatar in the sense that everyone and everything is Everyone and Everything, all at the same time and for all time. There is nothing but God. He is the only reality and we are all one in the indivisible Oneness of this absolute reality. (224-5)
Awaken from your ignorance and try at least to understand that in this completely indivisible Oneness not only is the Avatar God, but also the ant and the sparrow and one and all of you are nothing but God. The only apparent difference is in their states of consciousness. The Avatar knows that the sparrow is not a sparrow, while the sparrow does not realize this. Being ignorant of its ignorance, it identifies itself as a sparrow. Do not live in ignorance. Do not waste your precious lifetime in differentiating and judging your fellow men, but learn to long for the love of God. Even in the midst of your worldly activities, live only to find and realize your true identity with your beloved God. Be pure and simple and love all, because all are One. Live a sincere life, be natural and be honest with yourself. Honesty will guard you against false modesty and will give you the strength of true humility. Spare no pains to help others. Seek no reward other than the gift of divine love. Yearn for this gift sincerely and intensely and I promise you in the name of my divine honesty that I will give you much more than you yearn for. (225-6)
Lose yourself in Baba and you will find that you eternally were Baba. (237)
The secret is that you have to become what you already are. (237)
He who loves God becomes God…. All else but God—whether rites, rituals or ceremonies in the name of religion, worldly possessions, family, money or one’s own physical body—all else but God is illusion. (240)
From: Life At Its Best (from Baba’s 3-week America tour in 1956)
God is the only Reality and He is the fountainhead of all love, beauty, peace and happiness. (79)
It is my God-ordained work to awaken humanity to the inviolable unity and inalienable divinity of all life. Know that you are in essence eternal, and heirs to infinite knowledge, bliss and power. In order to enjoy your unlimited state all that is necessary is to shed your ignorance which makes you feel that you are separate from the rest of life. The separative ego or “I” can disappear only through divine love. (85)
The way to peace and fulfillment in union with God, the divine Beloved, is a daring dive into the “eternal now.” (80)
In order to inherit that Truth you need the courage to jump across the abyss of duality. (26)
All religious creeds, though useful for the time being, ultimately must be replaced by actual experience, and the inner spiritual Path must be traversed before one can realize the infinite Truth. (52)
The soul ... through the grace of the Perfect Master ... is freed from the limiting nightmare in which it believes itself to be nothing but its own encaging body. (16)
Mind ... seeks and creates an over-powering false world, becomes enmeshed in it, and projects into it a false value that must in the end, due to its very nature, betray itself. Mind divides a reality which is essentially indivisible. It clings to a form which is essentially perishable. It glorifies itself in actions which are essentially binding and in achievements which are essentially insignificant. It enjoys and suffers against a background of vacuity, thus depriving itself of any real happiness or understanding. (38-9)
During its various lives as a human being the ego-mind can oscillate endlessly between the opposites, viz., indulgence and repression, secularism and religion, superiority complex and inferiority complex, self-aggrandizement and self-humiliation, introversion and extroversion, virtue and vice, pain and pleasure, “I” and “you” or “mine” and “thine,” without arriving at true poise—attainable only through right understanding of the Truth. ... True poise comes when the ego-mind, with all its accumulated inclinations, melts away through divine love, thus unveiling the supramental Truth in which there is the realization that one is—oneself—one with all life. Here there is no duality or division of life and therefore the soul is free from the opposite attitudes. Having become one with the eternal and infinite divinity which sustains from within, the soul gains unending bliss, understanding, love and power, for the soul is freed from duality. (46-7)
When you live in this Truth, the result is the fusion of the mind and the heart and the end of all fears and sorrow. It is not a dry attainment of mere power or intellectual knowledge. A love which is illumined by the intuitive wisdom of the spirit will bless your life with ever-renewing fulfillment and never-ending sweetness. (27)
In all states and under all circumstances, whether you are dreaming dreams in sleep, dreaming acute hell or heaven states after leaving the gross body, or dreaming the real dreams in the higher spiritual planes, essentially you remain the same. (8)
By completely freeing consciousness of all illusion, man becomes God in the naked truth of His own existence. He remains infinitely conscious God, irrespective of His keeping or dropping the gross, subtle and mental bodies, just as man remains man whether he is dressed or undressed. (13-4)
The entire universe comes out of God, undergoes infinite variations, and goes back into God. (7)
It is not so much that you are within the cosmos as that the cosmos is within you. (59)
The Perfect Master becomes the center of the universe. He finds himself as the only absolute and changeless point, around which the entire universe is constantly turning. (20)
God is nearer to you than your own shadow. In fact, He is not only within you, but He is your very Self. You cannot get at Him, for you seek Him through the ego-mind which converts Him into the will-o'-the-wisp. The ego-mind must meet actual death if God is to be seen and realized. (75)
Those who cleanse their hearts of the embittering poison of selfishness, hate and greed shall find God as their own true Self. ... In God and as God, all life reveals itself as being really one and indivisible, and all separateness created by identification with human or sub-human forms is seen to be illusory. The Truth of divine life ... is the only reality, and all else is illusion. (56)
Have faith and you will be redeemed. Have love and you will conquer the lower and limited self of cravings that veil your own true being as God. Not through desperate self-seeking, but through constant self-giving is it possible to find the Self of all selves. (56-7)
If man wants to live eternally in bliss, let him live for God and be dead to his self. (57)
When consciousness is illumined by the Truth, it reveals God as everything and it experiences one uninterrupted and endless continuity of limitless bliss, love, power and understanding. (81-2)
The divine Beloved is always with you, in you and around you. Know that you are not separate from Him. (88)
Love for God automatically and naturally results in self-denial, mental control, and ego-annihilation. (96)
I have come to awaken in man this divine love. It will restore to him the unfathomable richness of his own eternal being and will solve all his problems. (61-2)
All achievements, through progress in science or otherwise, are but superficial explorations of that which is without. If that which is within be realized, the root of all that is without is made bare, and man will experience that everything emerges from within him as the shadow of his infinite Self. (65)
I invite man to break through all of his self-created prisons, and taste of the unlimited life which I bring. I ask him to love divinely, fearlessly, and limitlessly and to rise above the limited self of the separative ego-mind. I come to impart to groping humanity the universal Truth which transcends sectarian divisions and dogmatic formulations. (88)
The greatest work one can do for Baba is to live the life of love, humility, sincerity and selfless service in which there is no trace of hypocrisy. Baba's love is for all; and for each of his lovers to help others know this, his or her own life must be a radiating example of love so that it may become the instrument to spread Baba's love and the truth of Reality. (90-1)
There is no need for anyone to despair. The greatest of sinners as well as the greatest of saints has the same unfailing divine assurance. ... The saints of the present are the sinners of the past. (90)
Saints are God's assets and sinners are His liabilities. God, the infinite source of wisdom and justice, goes on eternally turning His liabilities into assets. (3)
Love God by loving your fellow beings. Begin to see God by seeing Him in all beings and things. Give without thought of return, serve without thought of reward. God is everywhere, in everything. Most of all He is right within yourself. (64)
All existence is within you. God is to be found within yourself, and once you find Him, you have found the only treasure worth finding. I give you my blessing that you may love God and find Him. (64-5)
From: Beams from Meher Baba on the Spiritual Panorama (1958, answers to questions)
Only those who have gone beyond the mind know the Truth in its reality. (4)
The unitarian Beyond is an indivisible and indescribable infinity. It seeks to know itself. It is of no use to ask why it does so…. The plain truth about this initial urge to know itself is best called a whim (Lahar). A whim is not a whim if it can be explained or rationalized. And just as no one may usefully ask why it arises, so no one may ask when it arises…. So let us call this initial urge to know a “whim.” You may call this an explanation if you like or you may call it an affirmation of its inherent inexplicability. … The first whim to know instantaneously implies a duality, an apparent differentiation… into two separate aspects, both of which are infinite as aspects of the Infinite. The first aspect is that of infinite consciousness and the second aspect is that of infinite unconsciousness. … The infinite unconsciousness tries to unite with infinite consciousness. Both aspects are precipitated by the whim. This whim of the Infinite is in a way comparable to an infinite question, calling forth an infinite answer.... The infinite question is infinite unconsciousness; the infinite answer is infinite consciousness.... The two aspects have now descended into the primal duality which can resolve itself only by fulfilling the entire game of duality.... The infinite unconsciousness first has to fathom its own depths. It must experience itself first as infinitely finite [as inanimate matter], and gradually evolve into limited and limiting consciousness.... Instead of embracing the infinite consciousness in one timeless act the infinite unconsciousness reaches out towards it through a long-drawn-out temporal process of evolution, with all of its innumerable steps. (5-7)
The entire fabric of the universe serves but one purpose, viz. , realization of God. (17)
God is the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the universe which emanates from Him, is sustained by Him in His own being and also is re-absorbed in Him. God alone is real and the universe is in the domain of illusion, even though it is the manifestation of God Himself. The world or creation comes out of the eternal and infinite being of God through the creation-point, which is referred to as “Om.”... Creation is the greatest mystery with which all creatures, including human beings, are faced. The mystery cannot be unraveled or fulfilled unless and until man consciously becomes united with the Creator and realizes himself as being one with God, who is both the Creator and creation in one, at once including and transcending both in His infinite being. (19-21)
All forms and species live in a common world.... Thus birds, beasts, plants, and human beings, and all that lives and breathes, make their contributions to the unfolding life of each. The unfoldment of the divine in life is a common enterprise and not an exclusive achievement. Even the evolution of angels and archangels (with all of their hierarchy) is not to be regarded as an exclusive stream in advancing life. They can incarnate among the human beings and become linked up with the human stream of life. (27-8)
The Avatar does not take upon himself the karma of the world nor does he become bound by it. But he takes upon himself the suffering of the world which is the result of its karma.... Humanity finds its redemption from its karma through his vicarious sufferings, e.g., illness, humiliation, accidents and the like. In his own ways, the Avatar unfailingly fulfills his incarnation by giving a spiritual push to his age. (39-40)
The mystery of the universe is hierarchic in structure. There are graded orders, one supervening upon the other. The spiritual panorama of the universe reveals itself as a gradient with laws upon laws.... The lower laws are subsumed under the higher laws.... No miracle is an exception to the existing laws of the universe. It is an overt result of the impersonal working or conscious use of the established laws of the inner spheres. It is called a miracle because it cannot be explained by the known laws of the gross world. There are many examples of miracles. Giving sight to the blind and kindred achievements are bought under the category of miracles. They do not set aside the laws of the universe but are the expressions of laws and forces unknown and inaccessible to most human beings. There are some persons who, through the use of their supernatural powers, can keep their bodies alive for hundreds of years although they are not necessarily spiritually advanced. In the same way, the lingering aura of a saint may work miracles from his burial place. ... Occult phenomena like stigmata, telekinesis, elongation, elevation, etc., may amuse, astound or overpower people. But they cannot bring about spiritual healing or uplift, which is the real thing that matters.... The curious might very well occupy their minds with these things, but they are best relegated to the background as insignificant. The real lover of Truth passes by these things without becoming entangled with any of them. He cannot afford to be distracted or diverted from his real objective, viz. , attaining union with God and releasing the radiance of His purity and love. (41-6)
Among the supervening orders in the spiritual panorama there is one important factor which transcends and controls all laws, including the supernatural laws and the laws of karma. That factor is divine grace, which is beyond all laws. God forgives sins in the sense that He does not eternally damn any one for his sins. He keeps the door of redemption eternally open. Through repeated sincere prayers it is possible to effect an exit from the otherwise inexorable working out of the law of karma.... Divine grace is not concerned with phenomena. It is concerned with the emancipation and spiritual fulfillment of souls. (46-7)
Much of the work of the Divine Incarnation is often done through his agents who carry on the duty entrusted to them by the Incarnation. The agents may be on the gross plane or on the inner planes. If they do not have a gross body they are invisible to ordinary people. They help persons in their ascent through the planes. Some agents fulfill the purpose of the Divine Incarnation unconsciously. They do not know consciously whence their impetus or inspiration comes. Other agents consciously receive instructions from the Avatar and knowingly and voluntarily carry out these instructions. (14-15)
God does everything and at the same time He does nothing. He leaves everything to the natural and supernatural forces prevalent in the spiritual panorama of the universe. Although God does nothing by way of small miracles, the entire universe which has emanated from Him is the miracle of miracles. ... So, having created this supreme miracle of the universe, God does not bother about performing further minor miracles within this universe, but leaves it to the reign of laws. However, this does not apply to the God-man who may, if he deems it to be fit and necessary, perform numberless miracles in supervention of the normal routine working of the universe, without attaching any especial importance to them.... Although God does nothing, those who approach Him with love and surrender derive everything that matters in the spiritual realm, even though He does not do anything in particular towards them. God may be compared to the sandalwood. It continually emits a sweet scent in all directions, though only those who take the trouble to go near it have the benefit of its charming fragrance. But we cannot say that the sandalwood has done anything in particular towards those who approach it.... Thus the sandalwood gives in one sense; and in another sense it does not give.... These examples show how God does everything and at the same time does nothing. This naturally applies to the so-called miracles, which are minor happenings within the great miracle. Mind also can be called the great miracle of the universe, because it is out of the mind that the illusion of the universe arises. Mind is a patent miracle, yet the fulfillment of its destiny lies in self-annihilation. It has not fulfilled its true purpose if it does not completely disappear. The temporary clay model often has to be destroyed in order to bring out a statute of permanent importance.... In the same way, the mind-mould arises only in order that it may be shattered to pieces and that its bursting may make possible the unfoldment of true and unlimited understanding which is self-sustained. Thus the mind, which is the parent miracle, comes into existence in order to vanish.... But the mind cannot jump over itself. It cannot stop its own impressional [sanskara] functioning ....When the mind gets annihilated, it happens not through its own somersault or gymnastics, but by an act of divine grace. ... This is the only miracle worthy of the name and which is spiritually necessary.... The miracle of wiping out the mind brings with it complete disappearance of all forms of manyness. The many divisions, of which the mind makes too much and in which it becomes enmeshed, are all within the domain of the illusion or the self-created objects of the mind.... All separateness vanishes as soon as the mind, which is the creator of this separateness, comes to its termination through the act of divine grace. (47-53)
In truth there is only cosmic soul [Atma] which gathers experience through all the different forms, sometimes appearing to separate itself into group-souls [as in the case of many blades of grass having one soul] and at other times into souls which come under the body-soul equation [as in higher forms of life].... In some instances [of possession] two or more souls can use the same body.... Some advanced disciples are in such complete harmony with the master that the master can, if he so wills, sometimes “overshadow” the ego-mind and the body of a disciple, without supplanting his soul. Such overshadowing may take place for the working out of the wider plans of the master. Instead of replacing or wiping out the individuality of the disciple, it implements and amplifies his individuality. Here the disciple and his master are so merged into each other that they both find equal fulfillment through whatever the disciple achieves through his bodily existence. (57-9)
There is one infinite, indivisible soul which, through illusion, appears as many separate souls. Just as the one real soul is infinite in its indivisible being, the many souls into which it appears to get split are infinite in number. The shadow of the Infinite is infinite and remains infinite. Though the number of souls who attain full or human consciousness is limited and growing, the total number of souls of all plants, animals, insects, atoms, etc. is infinite and cannot be counted.... The number of human-conscious souls is not to be judged or arrived at by a census of living human bodies which dwell in the gross world at any one time. There are ever so many human-conscious souls who have just passed away or who are waiting to be born. Of course, the number of those souls who are freed from the round of births and deaths is very limited, compared with the large number of those who are caught up in it. Which groups of souls will incarnate in a specific period or cycle, and in what manner they are accommodated so as to allow scope for their evolution, are all matters governed by the masters who represent the divine will. (60-1)
The process of realization appears to be a process of becoming what one apparently is not. It seems like a movement from where you are to where you are not. [But, as Baba has said, “the journey is from here to HERE.”] (67)
Those who pretend to seek and those who pretend to give are close kin in the bewildering realm of spiritual jingoism.... The greatest of all frailties is the common fault of not being able to face, accept and acknowledge one’s own weaknesses. This is the frailty of all frailties. It gives rise to hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is said to be the tribute which vice pays to virtue.... The inner spiritual path is narrow and difficult. Even sincere seekers can become enticed by the allurements of spiritual jingoism before they become aware that they have fallen. (64-6)
It is a mistake to think that evil is an irreducible active force by itself. Both good and evil ... have to be seen in their true perspective as inevitable phases in the subhuman and human evolution.... Everything happens according to divine will, and it is a mistake to think that God has a rival in the form of a Devil.... The path lies from evil to good and then from good to God, Who is beyond both good and evil. If any suffering comes to a Perfect Master or Avatar, it should not be interpreted as a temporary victory of evil. It happens by divine will and is a form of divine compassion. He voluntarily takes upon himself the suffering of others in order to redeem those who are engulfed in gnawing cravings, unrelieved hatred and unabated jealousies. (71-5)
On the interplay of souls and their resilient opposition, much has been said by scientists, psychologists, philosophers, moralists, spiritualists, mystics, saints and seers, as well as by Tom, Dick and Harry. They differ sharply in their appraisal of the significance of this trans-subjective relationship.... By man’s heritage, from the initial whim from the eternal Beyond, his consciousness is constrained to move within the opposites of “I” and “you”; and this juxtaposition circumscribes the depths to which man may fall as well as the heights that he may scale. The “you” is a sort of alter-ego or another self within self. But the awareness of the “you” is of necessity a challenge to the enclosing of the self within itself. It is an effective check on the introversion or the inward withdrawal of consciousness into a subjective vacuity. There are many urges which draw the soul out powerfully and link it up with other souls in such a manner that it becomes impossible for the soul to take an uncompromisingly separatist stand. Let us take a few examples. Jealousy keeps the mind-heart whirling on some other soul. Revenge also can clasp the soul-object in its arms... And the capacity of fear to keep the mind-heart pinned upon the object causing fear is too well known to need special mention. Felt duality, in its multitudinous aspects, holds the mind in the grip of a variegated interplay of souls. However, the oppressiveness of sex-tinged relationship is more subtle than all the rest. ... The sex opposites... find themselves helplessly caught up in the game of illusion, being unable to separate from each other or really to unite with each other. ... The soul continues to be arrested within the spell of the felt “other.” The invincible other is a constant companion of sex-driven consciousness and is felt as the “other.” In deepest fulfillment, the sex-tinged opposition suddenly brings to the surface an equally deep frustration which is latent in itself. Even in its most refined and directed form, it does not succeed in sublating duality.... At all psychic levels, sex consciousness creates the sex opposites and their game of hide and seek, gain and loss, conquest and surrender, love and hate, frustration and fulfillment. At its best it may pierce the assertive separatism of the soul but it is never able to relieve it. Its rare moments of evanescent vanishment of separatism are always followed by its accentuation in a more formidable form. What sublates all forms of duality is untethered love. Untethered love neither allows you to fall back into a subjective vacuity nor does it throw you at the mercy of the felt “other.” It relieves you from the harassing interplay of the felt duality of “I” and “you.” ... Such love alone can understand the “I” as well as “you” as being its own illusory creation, rising from itself and disappearing within itself to find the ineffable fulfillment of the eternal Beyond. (89-94)
For most persons, the outer ceremonies and rituals prevalent in the diverse religions are the established approach to God and Divinity. They are regarded as indispensable. However, they are neither essential nor necessary, though at times they have been allowed or given by masters by way of inevitable accommodation to human weakness.... No teachers have been content with merely external disciplines. Through their teachings as well as example they have often set forth prayer as the inner approach to God and Divinity. What constitutes the essence of prayer? ... The ideal prayer to the Lord is nothing more than spontaneous praise of His being. You praise Him, not in the spirit of bargain [i.e., asking for something] but in the spirit of self-forgetful appreciation of what He really is.... Your praise is a spontaneous appreciative response to His true being, as infinite light, infinite power and infinite bliss. It is futile to attempt a standard prayer and hold it up as an ideal for all people of all times. The glory of the Almighty transcends all human understanding and defies all verbal descriptions.... All hymns and prayers reach out towards the eternal Truth of Godhead only to merge those who utter them in silent and unending adoration.... All prayers ultimately initiate the soul into an ever deepening silence of sweet adoration; and all formulae are dissolved and assimilated into the integral and direct appreciative perception of divine Truth.... The ritualistic and repetitive expressions of prayer do not and cannot do justice to the innermost essence of prayer, which is adoring love for the eternal Beloved. If you pray with a motive to do good to some one, your prayer may actually bring about good both to him and to yourself. Some people pray for the spiritual benefit of those who have done them some wrong. There also, they are helping others spiritually. But all prayers with a motive fall short of the ideal prayer which is without motive.... In its highest form, prayer leaves no room for the illusory diarchy of the lover and the Beloved. It is a return to one’s own being. (95-9)
Man is at the very bottom of the abyss of illusory existence. He goes on taking millions of incarnations in this shadowy valley without being able to find a way out of the separative ignorance in which he is caught. After aeons of participation in futile bungling, he starts to grope into the deceptive mazes of illusory values. His long-drawn sojourn through the wilderness of dual existence is a story of repeated blunders, ever tightening the grip of ignorance on his consciousness. An easy prey to the guiles of Maya [illusional] mirage, he gets enmeshed in its clutches. He goes astray in the feverish dreams of his vitiated imagination, with little prospect of launching on his homeward journey. However, by a stroke of good luck, which is God’s grace, he may stumble upon an exit through these mazes and get a glimmer of the limitlessness of the real. But just at this juncture, he proves vulnerable to the temptation of becoming a pretentious and preposterous claimant sailing under false colors and arrogating to himself the truth of his dim perception. ... He only succeeds in being a magniloquent imitation, puffed up with invalid claims. He encroaches upon the fields of the real saints, bluffing each and all whom he meets. But he is thereby only fooling himself and he moves further into the grips of the false. Only the intercession of some compassionate master can initiate him into the real and arduous Path. This Path consists of seven stations or planes. (104-5)
As long as the mind exists the illusion also exists, even up to the very sixth plane, although the type of illusion which exists on each plane may be different.... When the illusion exists, there are within it six ingredients, viz., time, space, law, nature, cause and effect.... Evolution depends on these six factors....On the seventh plane the mind does not exist. Hence there are no places, states nor experiences in God-realization, just as such places, states and experiences are absent in the infinite unconsciousness. What exists in God-realization of the seventh plane is just uninterrupted and indivisible consciousness, without any form of burden or limitation. (111-2)
With his back to the false and evanescent and his gaze firmly fixed on the goal of shoreless Divinity, an aspirant traverses the Path through spiritual planes with security if he has the help of a master of wisdom. And when he shed his illusion completely, he finds that his mysterious sojourn has been from eternity to eternity, from God to Himself. But it is not an arrival at the same point. In the shoreless Divinity of the eternal reality, there are no dividing points or lines. So you cannot call it a “return.” It is a return only in the sense of his having realized his initial limitlessness., but not a return to some imagined point or terminus. It has been a flight from eternity to eternity, from the shoreless Divinity to the shoreless Divinity, from the unending to the unending. It is a fulfillment that can never become stale. ... Every one may disappear in it and share its unending and ineffable glory. Through the incident of imaginary creation God overtakes Himself, only to discover that He is limitless in all dimensions. (112-113)
From: How a Master Works
Realization can be imparted to anyone in a second [by a Perfect Master]. It will then be for one’s own self only with no benefit to others. The period of austerity, self-denial, and hardship which one undergoes with a Master engenders power and gives authority to use Realization, when achieved, for the spiritual awakening of others. (xxii)
Difficulties give us the opportunity to prove our greatness by overcoming them. (55)
Unless one has attained fana [annihilation of selfishness] and acquired baqa [“remaining” in God], one cannot lead others to perfection. (85)
God is not to be learnt or studied or discussed or argued about. He is to be contemplated, felt, loved and lived. (86)
Don’t criticize. The habit of criticizing our fellow beings is a bad one. At the back of it often lies self-righteousness, conceit, a false sense of superiority. Sometimes it indicates envy, or a desire for retaliation. (104)
The work I do, to fulfill all that is ordained, releases a tremendous force that stamps my Advent.... The opposing forces created are tremendous, but also serve my work. (108)
The aim of all life since the beginningless beginning to the endless end, is to love God and be One with Him. (126)
To understand me, one must become like me. (163)
These explanations and discourses and all else that I say about Reality are but a play of words. If one tries to grasp Truth through words only, one is bound to miss it because it is beyond mind... (216)
I give not what people want, but what they need. (247)
No one will be saved except by the grace of God. (270)
I am the Christ. I tell you this with my divine authority. One day all will know. (277)
Don’t worry. Worry accumulates and grows in strength, becomes a habit long after the original cause has ceased to be.... Everything emanates from me, but is not real. If you were dreaming and I appeared in your dream and told you, “You are dreaming,” you would say, “Baba, I am enjoying these things. I know they are real.” It is hard to understand. In your awake dream, I tell you now: Nothing is real, so don’t worry. How to stop? Think of me. Love me. Christ said with divine authority, “Your sins are forgiven.” And I say with divine authority: Love me and your worries will vanish.” (284-5)
All that you see in the Himalayas—other parts of India—right here in front of you (waving his hand at the grounds and crowds), they are all maya—look inside of you for what is real and lasting. (327)
[To someone who asked about renouncing the world:] It is silly to give up the world. As long as you live in it with love, honesty and service, that is all that matters. These three things are internal—the world is outside of you, so why try to give up what is already external! Live where God puts you, rich or poor, and do your best. (327)
[To some Indian cricket players going to England for a match:] In going to England to represent India in the field of sport you have also the unique opportunity of yourselves practicing, and of conveying to the people there, the great spiritual lessons of concentration and love. When you take the field, if you play as eleven men with one heart, each enjoying excellence of performance in another player as he would in himself, whether that player is on your side or on the side of the opposing team, and so eliminating feelings of jealousy, anger and pride which so often mare sport, you will not only be entertaining the spectators but demonstrating the real spirit of sportsmanship. True sportsmanship is concentrated ability enlivened with appreciation of the performance of others. And when this is manifested, everyone, both players and spectators, receives spiritual upliftment as well as good entertainment.... I give you my blessing that in all your actions you show forth the spirit of love. (329)
I am the One who is always lost and found among mankind. It is your love for yourself that loses me and it is your love for me that finds me. Love me above everything, for now while I am in your midst I am most easily found as I really am. (344)
I am in everybody’s heart but I am sleeping there. It is my old, old habit. In order to awaken me you should always call out to me and say “Baba, Baba, Baba” continuously. Then I, who am asleep in your heart, will not find any pleasure in remaining asleep … once I am awake in your heart, you, too, would awake and remain awake for all time. (346-7)
[To a disciple:] It is natural that at times you feel 100% miserable. Be sure that I know everything. When everything goes wrong, the mind becomes helpless and has to rely on the heart. These are the moments when you resign to my will and rely solely on my help. When you leave all to me, I dare not neglect you, and you get relief from your predicament. (394)
[In the early 1960s, Baba declared:] The Creation is based on gas, and gas is nothing; and Nothing Is. ... The outer (Creation) is nothing but the shadow of Reality. Just as your shadow is because of you, so the Creation is because of Reality. [Presciently anticipating the modern “many worlds” or multiverse cosmological theories, Baba said:] Scientists will someday have to come to agreement among themselves that there are innumerable expanding and contracting, evolving and dissolving universes.... How can the mind imagine the limitlessness of Creation? It cannot. Why not? It is because we try to understand with mind that which is beyond the mind. Mind and energy are absolutely nothing. Hence all these universes which the scientists find so astounding are also nothing. Now, on the other side of mind, the “inner side,” there is shorelessness. You cannot pinpoint anything or any direction in it. No universes, no galaxies! Then what is there? Who is there in your sound sleep? Nobody. Only the “Is-ness” is there. It all means that the Goal is to be fully awake in sound sleep! Which is impossible without my Grace.... To see your inner Self you have to hold the mirror of dnyan [jnana—wisdom] before you—and only Baba can give you that mirror. (394-95)
The aim of life is to love God. The Goal of life is to become one with God. To do this, you have not to renounce the world, but to renounce the low desires, dishonesty and hypocrisy. Then, in the midst of activities you will be loving God as He should be loved. (399)
[When asked what is the difference between love and lust, Baba gave this definition:] Lust is nothing else but the desire for self-happiness. Love is the desire of happiness for others. (413)
As long as the face of the person is turned toward the Sun and as long as he is trying to walk into His light, the shadows which encircle him cannot be a serious handicap to his emancipation. In the same way, the aspirant need not worry too much about his failings, as long as his heart is firmly set upon uniting with his spiritual ideal. His failings will have vanished into nothingness when his pilgrimage is at an end. (423)
There are seven kinds of bliss: 1. The vishvananda: this bliss is experienced by all forms, from fish to human beings. 2. The chitananda: this is experienced by human beings alone. 3. The yogananda: this is experienced by yogis in the samadhi or trance state. 4. The premananda: one who experiences this bliss is on the way to Perfection. 5. The atmananda: one who experiences this bliss is engrossed in the light of the Almighty; only those who are on the fifth plane can experience it. 6. The purna-ananda: this bliss is experienced by those who see God at all times and in all places. 7. The Brahmananda: this bliss is experienced by those who have achieved spiritual Perfection. (485-6, The Meher Message, 2:9, 1930, pp. 3-4)
Why is it so impossible to find God? It is because you are looking for something you have never lost. (488, Meher Baba, in Mani, Family Letter, Aug. 24, 1959)
It is not easy for you to understand that, though I am here with you in this place, I am also everywhere at the same time. (512, from Will Backett, “Facets of the Diamond,” The Awakener, 2:4, 1955, p. 43)
The miracles performed by yogis (spiritually semi-advanced persons) are essentially selfish, as they are invariably based on personal motives; whereas the miracles of Sadgurus or Perfect Masters are absolutely selfless, as they are based on the principle of giving a spiritual push to humanity. (525, “A Calendar of Baba Meditations,” The Awakener, 3:4, 1956, p. 16)
Unless you become as dust you cannot realize God. But first you have to become stone, for you cannot become dust right away. What is needed is to retain human consciousness and become as stone, and then wear yourself to dust at the feet of the Perfect Master. (533, Meher Baba, in Mani, Family Letter, July 11, 1961) How will you become like dust? If you could do what I ask you to do, what else could you be but like dust? It is extremely difficult for you to do what I ask you to do. It is only possible when your heart is kindled with love for me. ... Dust never complains even though we walk over it, trample upon it, or use it in any way we like. If any number of calamities befall you and you still keep a smiling face, this may lead you to become like dust. You can become like dust only if you possess the highest type of love for me. (532, Warning from Baba to His Lovers, Guruprasad, May 19 and June 2, 1957)
[When an elder brahmin was upset that Baba had boys of all castes and outcastes mingling together, Baba struck himself and said to all those present:] I have put on this body with a view to destroying the entire fabric of the caste system, and destroy it I will, despite the opposition of the bigoted Brahmins. The caste system is as absurd as it is tyrannous. It has nothing to do with religion in the true sense of the word. (555, “Flashings and Slashings,” The Meher Message, 1:12, 1929, p. 61)
I want you all to know that whatever you do, good or bad, the one thing not forgiven by God is to pose as that which you really are not. (570, “A Message from the Master,” The Awakener, 1:4, 1954, p. 24)
Remember one thing, if misery and happiness are in the domain of Nothing and are really nothing, then why not always choose to be happy? Remain happy. Try to remain happy. Know that God alone is and all else is nothing. (577)
Do everything but don’t worry. Worrying binds. When one is beyond worrying, one is happy.... It is all fun, a game, happiness—if you don’t worry. (582, “A Calendar of Baba Meditations,” The Awakener, 3:2, 1956, p. 12)
I have to worry, but my worry is great fun for me! It’s a very old habit of mine to worry for the whole Creation, to worry continuously for the release of souls from the bondage of life and death. It’s great fun. Some come to me to heal their diseases, to bless them with better prospects in life, or for a job or for children, or because they have too many children! And I have to worry about all those things, in addition to my universal worries. You see me sitting here with you, but I am simultaneously on all the planes of consciousness... There are souls in the subtle world who want me—and I am there with them; and there are those in the mental world who want me, and I am there with them. You are in the gross world, so you find me with you in the gross world; those in the subtle world find me in the subtle world, those in the mental world find me in the mental world. And one rare one who finds me as I really am is blessed. (581, Filis Frederick, “Notes on the East-West Gathering,” The Awakener, 9:1 and 2, 1963, p. 33)
When a person is in yoga samadhi [trance], his mind does not work and is dead, so to speak; but his intellect and egoism are there just the same, and so no sooner does the samadhi go than his egoism begins working. Nirvikalpa samadhi is higher than and quite different from the yoga samadhi. Before a person can expect to enjoy nirvikalpa samadhi, his intellect and egoism must go in order to make room for dnyan [jnana] or Real Knowledge [of the God Self]. (589, “Sayings of ... Meher Baba,” The Meher Message, 2:11, 1930, p. 1)
I am the One so many seek and so few find. No amount of intellect can fathom me. No amount of austerity can attain me. Only when one loves me and loses one’s self in me, am I found. (604, “Baba Pearls,” The Awakener, 3:2, 1955, p. 8)
My sleep is not the sleep of ordinary human beings; it is a sort of a mental rest for me from my spiritual working. (605; Dr. Abdul Ghani Munsiff, “Twenty Years with Meher Baba,” Meher Baba Journal, 3:3, 1941, p. 174)
When some of my devotees, through their zeal and enthusiasm, speak of me in the highest terms, it is natural for us to encourage them. But if, later on, that enthusiasm wanes and they speak of me in the lowest terms, then although we do not encourage them, we should at least not check them, harass them or try to stop them from saying what they feel. It is not what the world thinks of us that matters, but what God knows about us that matters. Unless we are stripped of all egoistic tendencies and desires, and unless our soul attains its original naked state, we cannot embrace God the Beloved, Who is eternally naked in His infinity. (606, “What Baba Means by Real Work,” The Awakener, 5:2, 1958, p. 26)
[Q: Baba, how can we be relieved of our bindings?] You are not bound at all—you are free eternally. Only when you think, you become bound.... Therefore, the only way to realize that you are eternally free and that you have no bindings is to love Baba wholeheartedly and to think of Baba constantly. (608)
No amount of prayer or meditation can do what helping others can do. (647, “Journey of the Heart,” The Awakener, 4:3, 1957, p. 15) Any work done in the name of God or Lord Jesus is good work. But it must be done sincerely, honestly, without taking any pride in it, without wanting to profit through it. (655, “Journey of the Heart,” The Awakener, 4:3, 1957, p. 18)
Once your heart is clean, I will shine out in it. But it is not easy to clean one’s heart. It is as difficult as diving deep into a sea of fire. One out of thousands of true lovers of God has such courage, for he has become the dust at the feet of the Perfect Master.... The easiest path is to... throw all your burden of sanskaras at my feet. I am the Ocean and can absorb all your burden. In fact there is no such thing as burden. It is all imagination. (649, “Guruprasad Glimpses, 1963,” The Awakener, 9:3, 1963, p. 27)
It is all nothing, only Love and One Existence. (654, from Elizabeth Patterson’s diary)
[Once a man came to Baba at Guruprasad, wanting to know how to realize God. “That is very easy,” said Baba. “Just stand here and do nothing.” He let the man stand for an hour and a half. Baba than returned and blinked his eyes. The man did the same. Baba: “I told you to do nothing!” The man replied, “I’m doing nothing.” “No, you’re thinking; your mind’s at work. It is very easy to realize God—just do nothing. Allow me to do it for you. Then there are no bindings and there are no sanskaras.” (661)
I attach more importance to love and work than to meditation. If you love a person, you naturally and spontaneously think about him. There is no question of forcing the mind in such meditation. [Yet Baba also spoke of the power of concentrative meditation:] If you concentrate upon anything intensely, it shatters the whole structure of the sanskaras, so that their chains become loose. (665, “Conversations with the Master: on Meditation,” The Awakener, 1:2, 1953, p. 8)
I look all right on the outside, but on the inside I am like a volcano. The world situation is weighing on me. (674)
The Avatars and Perfect Masters give their divine guidance and protection to the human race and the world in their own unique and imperceptible ways, which are beyond the grasp of human intellect. The Perfect Masters are the true Saviours of mankind, and not of the selected few only. Their love and grace alone sustain the universe. (676, The Awakener, 1:4, 1954, p. 5)
What is mind? Mind is the junction between the “inner” and the “outer,” between Reality and its shadow. If mind is annihilated, you experience the infinity of the Reality. (678, “Guruprasad Glimpses, 1963,” The Awakener, 9:4, 1964, p. 21)
The greatest law of God is Love, which holds the key to all problems. This mighty force not only enables one to put the ideal of selfless service into practice, but also transforms one into God. It has been possible through love for man to become God, and when God becomes man, it is also due to His love for His beings. Love is dynamic in action and contagious in effect. Pure love is matchless in majesty; it has no parallel in power and there is no darkness it cannot dispel. It is the undying flame that has set life aglow. The lasting emancipation of man depends upon his love for God and upon God’s love for one and all. Love also means suffering and pain for oneself and happiness for others. To the giver, it is suffering without malice or hatred. To the receiver, it is a blessing without obligation. Love alone knows how to give without necessarily bargaining for a return. There is nothing that love cannot achieve, and there is nothing that love cannot sacrifice. (683, “Love and God-Love,” The Awakener, 3:2, 1955, p. 1)
I belong to no religion. Every religion belongs to me. My personal religion is my being the Ancient, Infinite One, and the religion I impart to all is love for God, which is the Truth of all religions. This love can belong to all, high and low, rich and poor. Everyone, of every caste and creed, can love God.... Religion, like worship, must be from the heart. If, instead of erecting churches, fire temples, mandirs and mosques, people were to establish the house of God in their hearts for the beloved God to dwell therein supreme, my work will have been done. If, instead of mechanically performing ceremonies and rituals as age-old customs, people were to serve their fellow beings with the selflessness of love, taking God to be residing equally in one and all, and knowing that by so serving others they are serving me, my work will have been fulfilled. (685-6, “The Truth About Religion,” The Awakener, 2:2, 1954, p. 13.)
Just as ordinarily we do not pay any attention to the shadows, so the Masters do not pay any attention to the Universe except to divert the attention of humanity from the Shadow to the Substance. (733, from a Dec. 3, 1952 discourse at Delhi Univ.)
Each and every seemingly individual soul (atman) is destined to realize its one indivisible Self. As soon as the atman begins to unfold to the first faint consciousness of its infinite and eternal state, it is confronted by its own shadow. The atman gets immediately lost in the consciousness of this shadow and from then on becomes involved in the interminable “play” of Illusion. (733, The Awakener, 1:4, 1954, pp. 2-3)
[Baba asked Ivy Duce what she was thinking. She replied, “I was wondering what you were thinking, Baba,” for Baba’s eyes held an unusual expression.] I was thinking that God within each of you is free, infinite, yet He feels Himself bound in each of you and therefore He suffers. I am infinitely happy, eternally blissful, yet I suffer every instant through you because I am in you all.” [Duce: “But why this suffering, Baba?”] I experience that I am eternally bound in you all. Darwin [Shaw], for example, has hands, eyes, fingers. When his finger is sore, he feels it, though it is the finger which is sore, not Darwin. So I feel all your suffering—because you are all in me. Jesus Christ got himself crucified. Though he had infinite Power, he took on suffering and made himself helpless for the sake of humanity. He felt infinite Bliss, but also human suffering—he felt the suffering of all the world. I continually feel both infinite Bliss and human suffering. (740, Filis Frederick, “Journey of the Heart,” The Awakener, 5:2, 1958, p. 9)
When there are five Perfect Masters, who are God personified and who control and look after the affairs of the universe, what need is there for them to precipitate the incarnation of God on earth? They bring him down to shoulder the sufferings of humanity.... I have been made to take this human form by the five Perfect Masters of this age to bear the cross and to undergo humiliation. (740, “Warning from Baba to His Lovers,” The Awakener, 5:4, 1958, p. 24)
Jesus, being God and omnipotent, allowed himself to be helpless, humiliated and crucified. He knew it all, because he had planned it all, long ago, and he did it for all. But to have the right result, he had to experience the helplessness and the suffering. Do not think that because he was all-powerful, he did not suffer the humiliation and the crucifixion, or it would not then have had the desired effect. (740, Charles Purdom & Malcolm Schloss, “Three Incredible Weeks with Meher Baba,” The Awakener, 2:3, 1955, pp. 64-5)
You have no idea what that means—to come down to normal consciousness! Every little thing, every moment, was a crucifixion for me. To come down from that infinite Bliss to normal consciousness of this material, illusory world is crucifixion. Even now it is the same. You all find me cheerful, happy, but inwardly, within, I am in infinite agony. Why? Because I experience through all of you your own bondage. (743, Filis Frederick, “Journey of the Heart,” The Awakener, 4:3, 1957, p. 40)
When suffering comes, it comes according to the divinely established law of karma. It must then be accepted with grace and fortitude. But it must be remembered that your actions are the cause of much of your suffering. Through wise action, it can be minimized. What humanity needs is spiritual wisdom; and for this, it must inevitably turn to the Perfect Masters and Avatars. Suffering comes through ignorance or attachment to illusions. Most people play with illusions as children play with toys. If you get caught up in the ephemeral things of this world and cling to illusory values, suffering is inevitable. It is not easy for little children to give up their toys, for they become the victims of a habit, which they cannot undo. In the same way, through millions of lives, you have got into the habit of playing with illusions; it is difficult for you to get disentangled from them. (745, “A Message from the Master,” The Awakener, 1:3, 1954, p. 1)
From: The Everything and the Nothing (featuring Baba's silent discourses of the early 1960s)
God is love. Since God is Existence infinite and eternal there is no one for Him to love but Himself. And in order to love Himself He must imagine Himself as the Beloved whom He as the Lover imagines He loves. ... When union is attained, the Lover knows that he himself was all along the Beloved whom he loved and desired union with; and that all the impossible situations that he overcame were obstacles which he himself had placed in the path to himself. ... Because it is impossible to become what you already are, Union is nothing other than knowledge of oneself as the Only One. (1)
The Way of Love is a continual sacrifice; and what gets sacrificed are the lover's thoughts of “I,” until at last comes the time when ... he willingly surrenders his entire being to the Beloved and has no thought of self left. ... One who surrenders has no existence other than the Beloved. (4-5)
Even the craving for union with the Beloved creates bindings. Therefore, do not bother about separation or union; just love and love all the more. (8)
The wonder of it is, when at last you reach your Destination [in God] you find that you had never traveled at all! It was a journey from here to Here. (11)
The humor of the divine love-game is that the One who is sought is Himself the seeker. It is the Sought who prompts the seeker to ask, Where can I find Him whom I seek? The seeker asking, Where is God? is really God saying, Where indeed is the seeker! (19)
He who becomes the perfect “slave” [to the will of God] becomes a Perfect Master. (9)
When you awake you find that the Great Dream containing all the varied illusory aspects of dreaming, has vanished for ever. Heaven and hell as well as all the planes vanish within your Self, to remain as nothing. In this Awakened State, there is no scope for anything besides you—the Self, the Existence eternal and infinite. This is the only Experience worth experiencing and aspiring after. To gain this Experience you have to become as dust at the feet of the Perfect Master—which amounts to becoming as nothing. And, when you become absolutely nothing, you become Everything. (11-12)
To know Reality is to become it. ... It is you. Owing to ignorance God who is nearest appears to be farthest. But when the veil of ignorance is rent by the grace of the Perfect Master you become you—the real Self which is the innermost Reality that you are, ever were and ever will be. (36)
In reality you are Bliss itself—but what a comedy illusion stages before you, what game it makes of you to make you aware of it! ... Do not fear suffering or blame anyone for it. ... Suffering is your labor of love to unveil your Real Self. In comparison to the Infinite Bliss you experience on attaining the I-Am-God state, all the suffering and agony you go through amounts to practically nothing. (47-8)
I repeatedly tell you that I am God in order to help you know that you too are God. I am God and everyone and everything is nothing but God, and one day everyone and everything too will become God consciously. ... I want you all to be honest. You should not pretend to be what you are not. (48)
God alone is Real and all else that you see and feel is nothing but a series of nothings. (50)
I am eternally happy for I know that I am the Infinite One. I alone exist; there is nothing besides me; all else is Illusion. ... I, as myself, am free. But in you, as you, I get myself bound. ... Your experience of suffering is because of sheer ignorance; and your ignorance is my suffering. ... Through the ego-mind you have become individualized, and the One Indivisible Soul [seems] infinitely divided. But the Soul never becomes divided, it remains One and the Same. You are really the Infinite Soul but you identify yourself with a finite mind and so have to suffer. ... In the dream state you enjoy and suffer. When you wake you realized that your enjoyment and suffering was nothing but a dream—an illusion. But know that your present state of consciousness which you call being awake, when compared to the Real Awake State, is nothing but a dream state. Your life is a dream within the mighty Dream of God which is the Universe. (51-2)
When my Grace descends it makes you Me. (55)
I am not this body that you see. It is only a coat I put on when I visit you. I am Infinite Consciousness. ... Think of me; remain cheerful in all your trials and I am with you helping you. (56)
Dying to your self means completely losing yourself in God to find your Self as God. This dying to your false self is no easy task; raising a corpse to life is child's play compared to it. (60)
Duality implies separateness. Separateness cause fear. Fear makes worry. The way of Oneness is the way to happiness; the way of manyness is the way to worry. I am the one who has no second so I am eternally happy. You are separate from your Self, so you always worry. To you, what you see is absolutely real; to me it is absolutely false. ... If at all you must worry, let it be how to remember me constantly. This is worthwhile worry because it will bring about the end of worry. Think of me more and more, and all your worries will disappear into the nothing they really are. (62)
To become One with God, one has not to renounce anything but one's own self. (64)
The Infinite alone exists and is Real; the finite is passing and false. The Original Whim in the Beyond caused the apparent descent of the Infinite into the realm of the seeming finite. This is the Divine Mystery and the Divine Game in which Infinite Consciousness for ever plays on all levels of finite consciousness. (70)
Creation is really a mighty joke, but the laugh is at my own expense. (63)
As the eternal Redeemer of humanity I am at the junction of Reality and Illusion, simultaneously experiencing the infinite bliss of Reality and the suffering of Illusion. (67)
I assert unequivocally that I am infinite consciousness; and I can make this assertion because I am infinite consciousness. I am everything and beyond everything. I am ever conscious that I am you... Daily I support you and share your consciousness. (72)
God is everything and all else is nothing. ... Nothing is... God Is. (72)
Realization means that instead of being fully conscious that he is man, he becomes fully conscious that he is God, was God, has always been God and will ever remain God. (73)
God-love penetrates all illusion... Start learning to love God by beginning to love those whom you cannot. You will find that in serving others you are serving yourself. The more you remember others with kindness and generosity, the less you remember yourself; and when you completely forget yourself, you find me as the Source of all love. (73)
To get to the fundamental core of Truth underlying all religions, reach beyond religion. ... God has come again and again in various Forms, has spoken again and again in different words and different languages the Same One Truth—but how many are there that live up to it? ... Man's inability to live God's words, makes a mockery of them. How many Christians follow Christ's teaching to “turn the other cheek” or “to love thy neighbor as thyself?” How many Muslims follow Mohammed's precept to “hold God above everything else”? How many Hindus “bear the torch of righteousness at all cost”? How many Buddhists live the “life of pure compassion” expounded by the Buddha? ... God's Truth cannot be ignored. Because men do ignore It a tremendous adverse reaction is produced, and the world finds itself in a cauldron of suffering through hate, conflicting ideologies and war, and nature's rebellion in the form of floods, famines, earthquakes, and other disasters. Ultimately, when the tide of suffering is at its flood, God manifests anew in human form to guide mankind to the destruction of its self-created evil, and re-establish it in the Way of Truth. (74-5) [And see The God-Man, p. 344-6]
I was Rama, I was Krishna, I was this One, I was that One, and now I am Meher Baba. In this form of flesh and blood I am that same Ancient One ... I am that Ancient One whose past is worshipped and remembered, whose present is ignored and forgotten and whose future (Advent) is anticipated with great fervor and longing. (77)
There is only one question. And once you know the answer to that question there is no more to ask. That one question is the Original Question. And to that Original Question there is only one Final Answer. ... Out of the depths of unbroken Infinity arose the Question, Who am I? and to that Question there is only one Answer—I am God! ... Between the Original Question and the Original Answer there are innumerable false answers. These false answers—such as, I am stone, I am bird, I am animal, I am man, I am woman, I am great, I am small—are, in turn, received, tested and discarded until the Question arrives at the right and final answer, I AM GOD. (78)
God's Imagination is unending, and the Creation which is the product of His Imagination goes on endlessly expanding. ... When you cannot imagine even the Imagination of God, how infinitely more impossible it is to fathom His Reality. In what is called space numberless universes are continuously created, sustained and destroyed. This procession of creation continues so long as God goes on imagining. And when God's Imagination is suspended, as it is at moments in Eternity when God withdraws Himself into His Sound Sleep State... the Creation is withdrawn and dissolved (Mahapralaya). Creation, Preservation and Dissolution are based on Ignorance. In fact, there is no such thing as creation, so preservation and dissolution never actually occur. The very cosmos has no foundation save that of Ignorance. Ignorance believes: The cosmos is a reality; birth, death, old age, wealth, honor, are real. Knowledge knows: The cosmos is a dream. God alone is Real. (87)
In Reality there is only One. In Illusion there are many. ... Even to say, There is one God is wrong. God is so infinitely One that He cannot even be called One. One may only say, One is. The word “God” is only an attempt to give that One a name, for in actuality He has no name. ... God is that “One” playing innumerable roles. (91)
When each individual drop sheds its false awareness of being other than the Ocean, it proclaims itself as the Infinite Indivisible Ocean. (93)
The world is a prison in which the Soul experiences being behind the bars of its gross-subtle-mental body... Illusion's hold is so strong that the Soul experiences itself as serf rather than Soul. ... The world exists only as long as the Soul experiences bondage; when the Soul realizes itself as Reality the world vanishes—for it never was. And the Soul experiences itself as being Infinite and Eternal. (99)
Reality is Existence infinite and eternal. ... Purposelessness is of Reality; to have a purpose is to be lost in falseness. (100)
People ask God for forgiveness. But since God is everything and everyone, who is there for Him to forgive? Forgiveness of the created was already there in His act of creation. But still people ask God's forgiveness and He forgives them. [For a human,] for-giveness is the best charity. ... When he has forgiven everyone and has completely forgotten himself, he finds that God has forgiven him everything, and he remembers Who, in reality, He is. (109)
God is Indivisible One, and is indivisibly in each one and everything. ... When the bubble of ignorance bursts the self realizes its oneness with the indivisible Self. (111)
From: The Beloved: The Life and Work of Meher Baba
[From a 1934 interview in London:] There are three principal ways in which I work: 1) individually, 2) collectively (for crowds and masses), and 3) universally. When I work individually, it’s with persons a) who are with me, b) who are away from me, and c) who are connected with me. In some cases I work through their material downfall; in some cases through their material welfare, in some cases I deliberately bring about material downfall, but always having in the background their spiritual upliftment at heart. In some cases, I use them as “mediums” to efface their own “maya” qualities for their own salvation and that is where I am misunderstood. But I do not mind it. I know why I do it. That is sufficient; because, when carried to the extreme, love and hatred both have the same results. For example, A loves me extremely. It means he thinks continually of nothing else but me and is perfectly lost in me. B is extremely against me, i.e., hates me, but always thinks of me and is lost in me though with antagonistic feelings… I always use the medium of thoughts… it depends upon the qualities that readily respond to the push. When I work collectively, which is generally in theatres, picture houses, sporting grounds and in games, etc., where people collect and concentrate on a particular object, it is easy for me to have my spiritual effect on their minds collectively. When I work universally—through agents—my mind being universal, it is linked up with every individual mind… Even with advanced minds, who are my agents, and so in every part of the world, I am present and working through agents. That is why at times a) while speaking to one person, my mind is working elsewhere. People have seen and marked me stopping suddenly in the midst of conversation as if absent and always away from the spot and engrossed in something else. b) At nights, on many occasions, I make some of my devotees sit beside me and press the soles of my feet (i.e., to have a physical touch). c) Sometimes my personal attendant abruptly sits up in his bed at night, noticing some signs or flash of light, which makes him nervous. At such times, there is special working which pertains to bodiless “spirits” only, who are entering the Path of Evolution. There are scores of such “spirits” but whatever their stage of advancement, they hope to take form again, because the ultimate goal of every soul is to be one with the Infinite, and that is only possible in human form…. This is, in short, how I work. (36-7)
My message is love God to such an extent that you become God. That love is a gift from God. One of the means by which it can also be won is selfless service—but the selfless service should be so sublime that you should not even have a thought that you are serving! (93)
Births and deaths are illusory phenomena. One really dies when one is born to live as God the Eternal who is beyond both birth and death. (99)
God is not to be found in the skies or in the caves of the Himalayas. God is in the heart of each one. Once your heart is clean, God will shine out of it. But it is not easy to clean one’s heart. It is like diving deep into a sea of fire. To love me is to lose yourself. Hence, where you are, God is not; and where God is, you are not. It is easy to become good, but very difficult to become God. (93) [See How a Master Works, p. 649]
[A message from Baba in 1967 to students of St. Vincent’s High School in Pune, where Baba had gone as a boy:] Schools help sincere students to equip themselves with knowledge and to become worthy citizens of society.... But this knowledge is not the be-all and end-all of learning. And there comes a time when one longs to reach the Source of knowledge. The journey to this Source can only be undertaken when one learns to love in all simplicity and honesty the One whom the pride of intellect veils. When mind soars in pursuit of the things conceived in space, it pursues emptiness; but when man dives deep within himself, he experiences the fullness of existence. (99)
[Two similar verses delivered in Summer 1968:]
God always existed
God will always exist
He is never changing, ever the same
And Illusion is his Eternal Game. [...]
Everlasting, never ending
Never changing, ever the same
And His oneness in its fullness
Plays in manyness His game. (101)
[Baba’s last words, spoken to his longtime female mandali, Dr. Goher Irani:]
Do not forget that I am God. (103)
Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai
Among the recommended websites on Meher Baba, see:
Ambppct.org/index.php (home page of the India-based Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust)
AvatarMeherBaba.org (international U.S. based site)
MeherBaba.co.uk/ (primary U.K. site for Meher Baba)
TrustMeher.org (among other things, great annotated list of weblinks)
LordMeher.org/index.jsp (has the entire 20 volumes of Lord Meher online)
DiscoursesByMeherBaba.org (has the entire Discourses online)
TheAwakenerMagazine.org (contains all 67 issues from 1953-86)
SheriarFoundation.org (a North American site for ordering books, photos, CDs, DVDs, calendars, etc.)
BelovedArchives.org (features Glow International periodical & massive archives collection)
En.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Meher_Baba (good introduction, with many links)