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Baba's Words: To be Etched on Stone or Etched on Hearts?


By

Professor J.S. Rathore


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

I read these articles with cautious interest and found myself having divergent views from those taken by the authors. I struggled with myself for a few days resisting bringing pen to paper. The hesitation was primarily not to get involved and let the matter take its own course. But being a Professor and quite tuned to 'speaking out' as an occupational hazard, I found silence to be equally troublesome. Battling this dilemma, I came across some interesting words from Thomas J. Watson, which I would like to quote:


"Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost."



I thought that this issue was important to me and that I needed to stand up and be counted.


My article thus emanates from the above background. I have the highest regard for our dearest Don Stevens and my observations on his views are just impersonal reflections on the subject matter at hand. I write as an individual Baba lover expressing my very personal opinion, hoping to provide some fresh perspectives.


Without cataloguing specific detail, I would like to believe that there are essentially three questions that we need to deal with here. The first two questions are simpler than the third but answers given by different people to these questions may not satisfy everybody at once. The third question probably needs greater introspection and maybe careful meditation on Baba's words, which again could be open to personal experiences. It would be worthwhile to point out that the answers to the first two questions have an important bearing on the perspective framework, which is needed to answer the third question. However all things considered, it is my belief that fairly acceptable answers can be arrived referring to existing Baba literature on all these issues.


These three questions are:

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

    1. Books directly written by Baba and which did not go through any subsequent editing.
    2. Books directly dictated by Baba and which did not go through any subsequent editing.
    3. Books on spiritual themes Baba ordered a select few to write as per his instructions.
    4. Books complied by others based on Baba's discourses and subsequently edited.
    5. Books written by others on life of Baba or events as recorded in diaries or first person accounts.
    6. Books written by individuals on Baba, on varied facets of His life and work and their experiences or reminiscences.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In God's Hand starts with this statement:

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

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

    The Existence of Natural Light = Darkness Natural.

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

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

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

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

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

    because Natural Darkness is, Natural Light is;

    because unnatural darkness is, unnatural light is. "

    And this statement on page 8:

    "The Mind Stopped is Light, God, Self.

    Mind working is false I, slave.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ________________________________

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

     

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