HIS MESSAGE

baba
Meher Baba said, "I have come not to teach but to awaken." Yet in his books and messages, he offers humanity spiritual illumination and inspiration. Besides printed messages, at times Baba would convey something of particular interest through the alphabet board at sahavas gatherings, which would be relayed over a loudspeaker. The legacy of his words includes Discourses, a guidebook on practical spirituality; and God Speaks, a profound and unparalleled exposition outlining the spiritual framework of creation. His many uplifting messages on the subject of love can be found throughout the numerous books by and about Meher Baba.
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Messages
Selected Writings
Universal Message in Translation
Selected Discourses in Translation
These five Discourses: "The New Humanity," "Love," "The Search for God," "True Discipleship," and "The Avatar," were selected by Eruch Jessawala and Don Stevens for translation into various languages from the complete set of "Discourses" by Meher Baba.

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The Universal Message

I have come not 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 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", "me", 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.

I repeat, I lay down no precepts. 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. My present Avataric Form is the last Incarnation of this cycle of time, hence my Manifestation will be the greatest. When I break my Silence, the impact of my Love will be universal and all life in creation will know, feel and receive of it. It will help every individual to break himself free from his own bondage in his own way. 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.

— Meher Baba

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The Highest of the High

Given by Meher Baba on 7 September 1953

Consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, each and every creature, each and every human being—in one form or the other—strives to assert individuality. But when eventually man consciously experiences that he is Infinite, Eternal and Indivisible, then he is fully conscious of his individuality as God, and as such experiences Infinite Knowledge, Infinite Power and Infinite Bliss. Thus Man becomes God, and is recognized as a Perfect Master, Sadguru, or Kutub. To worship this Man is to worship God.

When God manifests on earth in the form of man and reveals His Divinity to mankind, He is recognized as the Avatar—the Messiah—the Prophet. Thus God becomes Man.

And so Infinite God, age after age, throughout all cycles, wills through His Infinite Mercy to effect His presence amidst mankind by stooping down to human level in the human form, but His physical presence amidst mankind not being apprehended, He is looked upon as an ordinary man of the world. When He asserts, however, His Divinity on earth by proclaiming Himself the Avatar of the age, He is worshiped by some who accept Him as God; and glorified by a few who know him as God on Earth. But it invariably falls to the lot of the rest of humanity to condemn Him, while He is physically in their midst.

Thus it is that God as man, proclaiming Himself as the Avatar, suffers Himself to be persecuted and tortured, to be humiliated and condemned by humanity for whose sake His Infinite Love has made him stoop so low, in order that humanity, by its very act of condemning God's manifestation in the form of Avatar should, however, indirectly, assert the existence of God in His Infinite Eternal state.

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, adopting different human forms and different names, in different places, to reveal Truth in different garbs and different languages, in order to raise humanity from the pit of ignorance and help free it from the bondage of delusions.

Of the most recognized and much worshipped manifestations of God as Avatar, that of Zoroaster is the earliest—having been before Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed. Thousands of years ago, he gave to the world the essence of Truth in the form of three fundamental precepts—Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds. These precepts were and are constantly unfolded to humanity in one form or another, directly or indirectly in every cycle, by the Avatar of the Age, as he leads humanity imperceptibly towards the Truth. To put these precepts of Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds into practice is not as easily done as it would appear, though it is not impossible. But to live up to these precepts honestly and literally is as apparently impossible as it is to practice a living death in the midst of life.

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 [n]or a Wali. Those who approach me with the desire to gain wealth or to retain their possessions, those who seek through me relief from distress and suffering, those who ask my help to fulfill and satisfy mundane desires, to them I once again declare that, as I am not a Sadhu, a Saint or a Mahatma, Mahapurush or Yogi, to seek these things through me is but to court utter disappointment, though only apparently; for eventually this disappointment is itself invariably instrumental in bringing about the complete transformation of mundane wants and desires. The Sadhus, Saints, Yogis, Walis and such others who are on the via media*, can and do perform miracles and satisfy the transient material needs of individuals who approach them for help and relief.

The question therefore arises that if I am not a Sadhu, not a Saint, not a Yogi, not a Mabapurusha 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.

Now, if I am just an ordinary man, my capabilities and powers are limited—I am no better or different from an ordinary human being. If people take me as such then they should not expect any supernatural help from me in the form of miracles or spiritual guidance; and to approach me to fulfill their desires would also be absolutely futile.

On the other hand, if I am beyond the level of an ordinary human being, and much beyond the level of Saints and Yogis, then I must be the Highest of the High. In which case, to judge me with your human intellect and limited mind and to approach me with mundane desires would not only be the height of folly but sheer ignorance as well; because no amount of intellectual gymnastics could ever understand my ways or judge my Infinite State.

If I am the Highest of the High my Will is Law, my Wish governs the Law, and my Love sustains the Universe. Whatever your apparent calamities and transient sufferings, they are but the outcome of my Love for the ultimate good. Therefore, to approach me for deliverance from your predicaments, to expect me to satisfy your worldly desires, would be asking me to do the impossible—to undo what I have already ordained.

If you truly and in all faith accept your Baba as the Highest of the High, it behooves you to lay down your life at His feet, rather than to crave the fulfillment of your desires. Not your one life but your millions of lives would be but a small sacrifice to place at the feet of One such as Baba, who is the Highest of the High; for Baba's unbounded love is the only sure and unfailing guide to lead you safely through the innumerable blind alleys of your transient life.

They cannot obligate me, who, surrendering their all—(body, mind, possessions)—which perforce they must discard one day—surrender with a motive; surrender because they understand that to gain the everlasting treasure of Bliss they must relinquish ephemeral possessions. This desire for greater gain is still clinging behind their surrender, and as such the surrender cannot be complete.

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; 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. If I am the Highest of the High, it becomes impossible for the intellect to gauge me nor is it possible for my ways to be fathomed by the limited human mind.

I am not to be attained by those who, loving me, stand reverentially 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 selected 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 fulfill 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 cannot expect you to understand all at once what I want you to know. it is for me to awaken you from time to time throughout the ages, sowing the seed in your limited minds, which must in due course and with proper heed and care on your part, germinate, flourish and bear the fruit of that True Knowledge which is inherently yours to gain.

If on the other hand, led by your ignorance, you persist in going your own way, none can stop you in your choice of progress; for that too is progress which, however slow and painful, eventually and after innumerable incarnations, is bound to make you realize that which I want you to know now. To save yourself from further entanglement in the maze of delusion and self-created suffering which owes its magnitude to the extent of your ignorance of the true Goal, awake now. Pay heed and strive for Freedom by experiencing ignorance in its true perspective. Be honest with yourself and God. One may fool the world and one's neighbors, but one can never escape from the knowledge of the Omniscient—such is the Divine Law.

I declare to all of you who approach me, and to those of you who desire to 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 in order to extricate you from your predicaments, but find me in order 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 comforts 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 lives for me. Never expect me to cure you of your bodily afflictions but beseech me to cure you of your Ignorance. Never stretch out your hands to receive anything from me, but hold them high in praise of me whom you have approached as the Highest of the High.

If I am the Highest of the High, nothing is then impossible to me; and though I do not perform miracles to satisfy individual needs—the satisfaction of which would result in entangling the individual more and more into the net of ephemeral existence—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.

However, miraculous experiences have often been experienced by individuals who love me and have unswerving faith in me, and these have been attributed to my nazar or Grace on them. But I want all to know that it does not befit my lovers to attribute such individual miraculous experiences to my state of the Highest of the High. 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 who recognize me as such, or by those who love me unknowingly through other channels, they are but the outcome of their own firm faith in me. Their unshakable faith often superseding the course of the play of Maya gives them those experiences which they call Miracles. Such experiences derived through firm Faith eventually do good and do not entangle the individuals who experience them into further and greater bindings of Illusion.

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 surrenderance to the Highest of the High

*'via media', Latin for 'middle way'

— Meher Baba

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Meher Baba's Call

Given by Meher Baba on 12 September 1954

Age after age, when the wick of Righteousness burns low, the Avatar comes yet once again to rekindle the torch of Love and Truth. Age after age, amidst the clamor of disruptions, wars, fear and chaos, rings the Avatar's call: "Come all unto me."

Although, because of the veil of illusion, this Call of the Ancient One may appear as a voice in the wilderness, its echo and re-echo nevertheless 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.

The time is come. I repeat the Call, and bid all come unto me.

This time-honored Call of mine thrills the hearts of those who have patiently endured all in their love for God, loving God only for love of God. There are those who fear and shudder at its reverberations and would flee or resist. And there are yet others who, baffled, fail to understand why the Highest of the High, who is all-sufficient, need necessarily give this Call to humanity.

Irrespective of doubts and convictions, and for the Infinite Love I bear for one and all, I continue to come as the Avatar, to be judged time and again by humanity in its ignorance, in order to help man distinguish the Real from the false.

Invariably muffled in the cloak of the infinitely true humility of the Ancient One, the Divine Call is at first little heeded, until, in its infinite strength, it spreads in volume to reverberate and keep on reverberating in countless hearts as the Voice of Reality.

Strength begets humility, whereas modesty bespeaks weakness. Only he who is truly great can be really humble.

When, in the firm knowledge of it, a man admits his true greatness, it is in itself an expression of humility. He accepts his greatness as most natural and is expressing merely what he is, just as a man would not hesitate to admit to himself and others the fact of his being man.

For a truly great man, who knows himself to be truly great, to deny his greatness would be to belittle what he indubitably is. For whereas modesty is the basis of guise, true greatness is free from camouflage.

On the other hand, when a man expresses a greatness he know or feels he does not possess, he is the greatest hypocrite.

Honest is the man who is not great and, knowing and feeling this, firmly and frankly states that he is not great.

There are more than a few who are not great, yet assume a humility in the genuine belief of their own worth. Through words and actions they express repeatedly their humbleness, professing to be servants of humanity. True humility is not acquired by merely donning a garb of humility. True humility spontaneously and continually emanates from the strength of the truly great. Voicing one's humbleness does not make one humble. For all that a parrot may utter, "I am a man," it does not make it so.

Better the absence of greatness than the establishing of a false greatness by assumed humility. Not only do these efforts at humility on man's part not express strength, they are, on the contrary, expressions of modesty born of weakness, which springs from a lack of knowledge of the truth of Reality.

Beware of modesty. Modesty, under the cloak of humility, invariably leads one into the clutches of self-deception. Modesty breeds egoism, and man eventually succumbs to pride through assumed humility.

The greatest greatness and the greatest humility go hand in hand naturally and without effort.

When the Greatest of all says, "I am the Greatest," it is but a spontaneous expression of an infallible Truth. The strength of his greatness lies not in raising the dead, but in his great humiliation when he allows himself to be ridiculed, persecuted, and crucified at the hands of those who are weak in flesh and spirit. Throughout the ages, humanity has failed to fathom the true depth of the Humility underlying the greatness of the Avatar, gauging his Divinity by its acquired, limited religious standards. Even real saints and sages, who have some knowledge of the Truth, have failed to understand the Avatar's greatness when faced with his real humility.

Age after age, history repeats itself when men and women, in their ignorance, limitations and pride, sit in judgment over the God-incarnated man who declares his Godhood, and condemn him for uttering the Truths they cannot understand. He is indifferent to abuse and persecution for, in his true compassion he understands, in his continual experience of Reality he knows, and in his infinite mercy he forgives.

God is all. God knows all, and God does all. When the Avatar proclaims he is the Ancient One, it is God who proclaims His manifestation on earth. When man utters for or against the Avatarhood, it is God who speaks through him. It is God alone who declares Himself through the Avatar and 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. When the One who has realized God says, "I am God. You are God, and we are all one," and also awakens this feeling of Oneness in his illusion-bound selves, then the question of the lowly and the great, the poor and the rich, the humble and the modest, the good and the bad, simply vanishes. It is his false awareness of duality that misleads man into making illusory distinctions and filing them into separate categories.

I repeat and emphasize that, in my continual and eternal experience of Reality, no difference exists between the worldly rich and the poor. But if ever such a question of difference between opulence and poverty were to exist for me, I would deem him really poor who, possessing worldly riches, possesses not the wealth of love for God. And I would know him truly rich who, owning nothing, possesses the priceless treasure of his love for God. His is the poverty that kings could envy and that makes even the King of kings his slave.

Know, therefore, that in the eyes of God the only difference between the rich and the poor is not of wealth and poverty, but in the degrees of intensity and sincerity in the longing for God.

Love for God alone can annihilate the falsity of the limited ego, the basis of life ephemeral. It alone can make one realize the Reality of one's Unlimited Ego, the basis of Eternal Existence. The divine Ego, as the basis of Eternal Existence, continually expresses itself; but shrouded in the veil of ignorance, man misconstrues his Indivisible Ego and experiences and expresses it as the limited, separate ego.

Pay heed when I say with my Divine Authority that 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, in the uncompromisingly Indivisible Oneness, 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. The Avatar knows that that which is a sparrow is not a sparrow, whereas the sparrow does not realize this and, being ignorant of its ignorance, identifies itself as a sparrow.

Live not in ignorance. Do not waste your precious life-span in differentiating and judging your fellowmen, 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 other reward than the gift of Divine Love. Yearn for this gift sincerely and intensely, and I promise in the name of my Divine Honesty that I will give you much more than you yearn for.

I give you all my blessing that the spark of my Divine Love may implant in your hearts the deep longing for love of God.

— Meher Baba

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The Final Declaration

Given by Meher Baba on 30 September 1954

I am very happy to have you all here.

I know that many of you have come to Meherabad under very difficult circumstances. Some of you have covered thousands of miles, and even crossed continents to be at Meherabad today. It is your deep love for me that has braved all obstacles and prompted you to sacrifice your comforts and conveniences to honor my call and to be near me today.

I am deeply touched by your devotion, and I am proud of the hearts that contain such love and loyalty.

There are many more devoted hearts like yours yearning to be present here, but these are not to be seen in your midst today. I know that in spite of their intense desire to be near me, they could not possibly come for one reason or another. Therefore they depend on you to convey to them in detail all that you see and hear during these two days of unique opportunity that has fallen to your lot. I trust you will not fail them.

Although you are present here with all love and faith in me, and though you feel blessed to have my personal contact, yet I know that you will not realize today, as you ought to, the true significance of my call and your presence here at this juncture. Time alone will make most of you realize, not many months from now, the significant importance of this assembly.

The time is fast approaching when all that I have repeatedly stressed, from time to time, will definitely come to pass. Most of you will witness those events, and will recall very vividly all that transpires during these two days of your stay at Meherabad.

I have not come to establish anything; I have come to put life into the old. I have not come to establish retreats or ashrams. I create them for the purpose of my Universal work, only to repeatedly dissolve them once that purpose has been served.

The universe is my ashram, and every heart is my house, but I manifest only in those hearts in which all other than me ceases to live.

When my universal religion of love is on the verge of fading into insignificance, I come to breathe life into it, and to do away with the farce of dogmas that defile it in the name of religions, and stifle it with ceremonies and rituals.

The present universal confusion and unrest has filled the heart of man with greater lust for power and a greed for wealth and fame, bringing in its wake untold misery, hatred, jealousy, frustration and fear. Suffering in the world is at its height, in spite of all the striving to spread peace and prosperity to bring about lasting happiness.

For man to have a glimpse of lasting happiness, he has first to realize that God, being in all, knows all; that God alone acts and reacts through all; that God, in the guise of countless animate and inanimate entities, experiences the innumerably varied phenomena of suffering and happiness. Thus, it is God who has brought suffering in human experience to its height, and God alone who will efface this illusory suffering and bring the illusory happiness to its height.

Whether it manifests as creation or disappears into Oneness of Reality, whether it is experienced as existing and real, or is perceived to be false and nonexistent, illusion throughout is illusion. There is no end to it, just as there is no end to imagination.

There are two aspects experienced in illusion — manyness and oneness. While manyness multiplies manyness, oneness goes on magnifying itself. Manyness is the "religion" of illusion on which illusion thrives.

In the illusory beginning of Time, there was no such state of mess in illusion as there is today. When the evolution of consciousness began, there was oneness, in spite of the diversity in illusion. With the growth of consciousness, manyness also went on increasing, until now it is about to overlap the limit. Like the wave that reaches its crest, this height of manyness will dissolve itself and bring about the beginning of oneness in illusion. Suffering at its height will cause the destruction of this climax of manyness in illusion.

The time has come for the preordained destruction of multiple separateness which keeps man from experiencing the feeling of unity and brotherhood. This destruction, which will take place very soon, will cause three-fourths of the world to be destroyed. The remaining one-fourth will be brought together to live a life of concord and mutual understanding, thus establishing a feeling of oneness in all fellow beings, leading them toward lasting happiness.

Before I break my silence, or immediately after it, three-fourths of the world will be destroyed. I shall speak soon to fulfill all that is shortly to come to pass.

To affirm religious faiths, to establish societies, or to hold conferences will never bring about the feeling of unity and oneness in the life of mankind, now completely absorbed in the manyness of illusion. Unity in the midst of diversity can be made to be felt only by touching the very core of the heart. This is the work for which I have come.

I have come to sow the seed of love in your hearts so that, in spite of all superficial diversity which your life in illusion must experience and endure, the feeling of oneness through love is brought about amongst all the nations, creeds, sects and castes of the world.

In order to bring this about, I am preparing to break my silence. When I break my silence, it will not be to fill your ears with spiritual lectures. I shall speak only one Word, and this Word will penetrate the hearts of all men, and make even the sinner feel that he is meant to be a saint, while the saint will know that God is in the sinner as much as He is in himself.

When I speak the Word, I shall lay the foundation for that which is to take place during the next seven hundred years. When I come again after seven hundred years, the evolution of consciousness will have reached such an apex that materialistic tendencies will be automatically transmuted into spiritual longing, and the feeling of equality in spiritual brotherhood will prevail. This means that opulence and poverty, literacy and illiteracy, jealousy and hatred, which are in evidence today in their full measure, will then be dissolved through the feelings of the oneness of all men. Prosperity and happiness will then be at their zenith.

This does not mean that oneness in illusion shall remain so eternally. This is because all this that is, is illusion. The consciousness of oneness, as well as manyness in illusion, is part of the process of evolution. The time is bound to recur when there will be again the same beginning, growth and culmination of the heights of manyness and oneness in illusion.

My next advent, after I drop this body, will be after seven hundred years, and that will mark the end and the beginning of a cycle of cycles. All cycles of time in illusion end and begin after seven hundred to fourteen hundred years. There have been and will be millions and billions of such cycles in a cycle of cycles. Thus, there is no end to illusion, which always remains illusion.

Age after age, I come amidst mankind to maintain my own creation of illusion, thereby also awakening humanity to become aware of it. The framework of illusion is always one and the same, but the designs in illusion are innumerable and ever-changing. 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. Through you I automatically maintain illusion, which is nothing but the shadow of my Infinite Self, and through me you automatically discard illusion, when you are made aware of its falseness.

My manifestation as the Avatar of the time will be of short duration. This short period will, in quick succession, cover my humiliation, the breaking of my silence, my glorification and my violent physical end. Everlastingly, with all the divine bliss within me, I eternally suffer for one and all — thus I am crucified eternally and continually for all.

During this short period, my Word of words will touch the hearts of all mankind, and spontaneously this divine touch will instill in man the feeling of the oneness of all fellow beings. Gradually, in the course of the next seven hundred years, this feeling will supersede the tendency of separateness and rule over the hearts of all, driving away hatred, jealousy and greed that breed suffering, and happiness will reign.

— Meher Baba

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Man-o-nash

The One All-pervading, All-comprehending, All-powerful God, who is the Self of our selves, and besides whom nothing is real, has helped me and guided me during the manonash period of my work, and now makes me to dictate to you the following:

To try to understand with the mind that which the mind can never understand, is futile; and to try to express by sounds of language and in forms of words the transcendent state of the soul, is even more 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 — the 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 for ever; for ignorance ceases to exist when the mind ceases to exist.

Unless and until ignorance is removed and Knowledge is gained — the 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.

— Meher Baba

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High Roads to God

In an important sense, all walks of life and all Paths ultimately lead but to one goal, viz., God. All rivers enter into the Ocean, in spite of the diverse directions in which they flow, and in spite of the many meanderings which characterize their paths. However, there are certain High Roads, which take the pilgrim directly to his Divine Destination. They are important because they avoid prolonged wanderings in the wilderness of complicated by-ways in which the pilgrim is often unnecessarily caught up.

The rituals and ceremonies of organized religions can lead the seeker only to the threshold of the true inner journey, which proceeds along certain High Roads. These remain distinct from each other for a very considerable distance, though towards the end they all get merged in each other. In the earlier phases, they remain distinct, owing to the diversity of sanskaric contexts of individuals and the differences of their temperaments. In any case, it should be clear from the very beginning that though the Roads may be many, the Goal is and always will be only one, viz., attainment of union with God.

The quickest of these High Roads lies through the God-man, who is consciously one with the Truth. In the God-man, God reveals himself in all His Glory, with His Infinite Power, Unfathomable Knowledge, Inexpressible Bliss and Eternal Existence. The Path through the God-man is available only to those fortunate ones who approach him in complete surrenderance and unwavering faith. Complete surrenderance to the God-man, is, however, possible only to very advanced aspirants. But when this is not possible, the other High Roads, which can eventually win the Grace of God, are:

1. Love for God and intense longing to see Him and to be united with Him

2. Being in constant company with the saints and lovers of God and rendering them wholehearted service

3. Avoiding lust, greed, anger, hatred and the temptations for power, fame and fault-finding

4. Leaving everyone and everything in complete external renunciation, and in solitude, devoting oneself to fasting, prayer and meditation

5. Carrying on all worldly duties with equal acceptance of success or failure, with a pure heart and clean mind and remaining unattached in the midst of intense activity

6. Selfless service to humanity, without any thought of gain or reward.

— Meher Baba

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Twelve Ways of Realizing Me

1. LONGING...If you experience that same longing and thirst for Union with Me as one who has been lying for days in the hot sun of the Sahara experiences the longing for water, then you will realize Me.

2. PEACE OF MIND...If you have the peace of a frozen lake, then too, you will realize Me.

3. HUMILITY...If you have the humility of the earth which can be molded into any shape, then you will know Me.

4. DESPERATION...If you experience the desperation that causes a man to commit suicide and you feel that you cannot live without seeing Me, then you will see Me.

5. FAITH...If you have the complete faith that Kalyan had for his Master, in believing it was night, although it was day, because his Master said so, then you will know Me.

6. FIDELITY...If you have the fidelity that the breath has in giving you company, even without your constantly feeling it, till the end of your life, that both in happiness and in suffering gives you company and never turns against you, then you will know Me.

7. CONTROL THROUGH LOVE...When your love for Me drives away your lust for the things of the senses, then you realize Me.

8. SELFLESS SERVICE...If you have the quality of selfless service unaffected by results, similar to that of the sun which serves the world by shining on all creation, on the grass in the field, on the birds in the air, on the beasts in the forest, on all mankind with its sinner and its saint, its rich and its poor, unconscious of their attitude towards it, then you will win Me.

9. RENUNCIATION...If you renounce for Me everything physical, mental and spiritual, then you have Me.

10. OBEDIENCE...If your obedience is spontaneous, complete and natural as the light is to the eye or smell is to the nose, then you come to Me.

11. SURRENDER...If your surrender to Me is as wholehearted as that of one, who, suffering from insomnia, surrenders to sudden sleep without fear of being lost, then you have Me.

12. LOVE...If you have that love for Me that St. Francis had for Jesus, then not only will you realize Me, but you will please Me.

— Meher Baba

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How to Love God

Part I of message given by Meher Baba on 12 September 1954

If you were to ask me why I do not speak, I would say I am not silent, and that I speak more eloquently through gestures and the alphabet board.

If you were to ask me why I do not talk, I would say mostly for three reasons. Firstly, I feel that through you all I am talking eternally. Secondly, to relieve the boredom of talking incessantly through your forms, I keep silence in my personal physical form. And thirdly, because all talk in itself is idle talk. Lectures, messages, statements, discourses of any kind, spiritual or otherwise, imparted through utterances or writings, is just idle talk when not acted upon or lived up to.

If you were to ask when I will break my silence, I would say, when I feel like uttering the only real Word that was spoken in the beginningless beginning, as that Word alone is worth uttering. The time for the breaking of my outward silence to utter that Word, is very near.

When a person tells others "Be good", he conveys to his hearers the feeling that he is good and they are not. When he says "Be brave, honest and pure", he conveys to his hearers the feeling that the speaker himself is all that, while they are cowards, dishonest and unclean.

To love God in the most practical way is to love our fellow beings. If we feel for others in the same way as we feel for our own dear ones, we love God.

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 suffering 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 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 and feel that the greatest act of devotion and worship to God is not to hurt or 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.

Part II

When I say I am the Avatar, there are a few who feel happy, some who feel shocked, and many who hearing me claim this, would 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 nought else but one, is too much for the duality-conscious mind to accept. 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 the other.

It is an unalterable and universally recognized fact since time immemorial that God knows everything. God does everything, and that nothing happens but by the Will of God. Therefore it is God who makes me say I am the Avatar, and that each one of you is an Avatar. Again, it is He Who is tickled through some, and through others is shocked. It is God Who acts, and God Who reacts. It is He Who scoffs, and He Who responds. He is the Creator, the Producer, the Actor and the Audience in His own Divine Play.

— Meher Baba

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Meher Baba's Last Warning to those who love Him, obey Him and all who would want to do so.

Given by Meher Baba in July 1968 via his secretary Adi K. Irani

Baba wants all His lovers to know that:

This is a very critical period of the Avataric Age and all His lovers must strive to their utmost to hold His daaman very firmly so that it does not slip out of their hands under any circumstances.

It is very important for all His lovers, especially in this critical period not to succumb to lust. Temptations are and will be great, but your love for Him should be greater. Remember Him wholeheartedly and rise swiftly from where you have fallen to march ahead in His love & service.

It is equally important at this critical period of the Avataric Age to beware at all times of persons who lead others into believing that they are saintly and pious and profess to possess supernatural powers. However pious such persons appear to be, a Baba-lover must never mix such piety with the Divinity of the Avatar!

A true Baba-lover must remember the repeated warning given to all Baba-lovers time and again to stay away from persons who feel and assert that they are masters and saints and possess powers to help human beings. His lovers and workers should never get involved with such persons and affairs, much less with perverted "helpers of humanity" who have no reverence or regard for the Perfect Masters and the Avatar of the age. Beware of them who exploit spirituality to gain their selfish ends and dupe others in the name of Sadgurus and the Avatar.

His lovers and workers should not get intimately involved with the family affairs of one another, and they should not be emotionally upset by the personal affairs concerning any of their families. They should NOT let any personal affairs vitiate their relationships with one another, or affect their efforts in the work they do for the cause of Truth.

He wants His lovers and workers who are spreading His message of Love to others, to share His love among themselves and to uphold the spirit of harmony and understanding in His name. He wants them to be less aggressive toward others and less tolerant towards themselves; and above all He wants them to love Him wholeheartedly for He is the Ancient One who loves them more than they can ever love themselves.

Shun those masters
who are like multi-coloured electric signs
that flash on and off,
brightening the dark sky of your world
and leaving you in darkness again.

— Meher Baba

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Baba's Sermon

Given by Meher Baba on 16 October 1950 when he stepped for a single day out of the New Life.

Being just now in the "Old Life" for these few hours, I will tell you what I feel to be the established Divine facts:

Essentially we are all one. The feeling of our being otherwise is due to ignorance. Soul desires consciousness to know itself, but in its progress towards this Goal which it cannot realize independently of creation, it must undergo the experience which it gathers as the individualized ego and which is all imagination. Thus it is faced at the outset with ignorance instead of Knowledge.

Dual forms and illusionary creations are the outcome of ignorance: birth and death, happiness and misery, virtue and sin, good and bad – all are equally the manifestation of this same ignorance. You were never born and will never die; you never suffered and will never suffer; you ever were and ever will be, as separateness exists only in imagination.

Soul undergoes experience through innumerable forms such as being king and beggar, rich and poor, tall and short, strong and weak, beautiful and ugly, of killing and being killed. All these experiences must transpire as long as the soul, though it is one in reality and undivided, imagines separateness in itself. When soul is bereft of the impressions of these illusionary experiences it becomes naked as in its origin, to become now fully conscious of its unity with the Over-soul which is One, Indivisible, Real and Infinite.

The soul becomes free of the binding of impressions through various paths. And Love is the most important of these paths leading to the realization of God. Through this love, the Soul becomes entirely absorbed in God, ultimately forgetting itself completely. It is then that all of a sudden Knowledge comes as swiftly as the lightning bolt which burns to ashes all that it falls upon.

This Knowledge uproots illusions, doubts and worries, and apparent sufferings are instantaneously replaced by everlasting peace and eternal bliss which is the Goal of all existence. Soul now free from its illusions, realizes its Original Unity of Being.

Let us not hope, because this Knowledge is beyond hoping and wanting. Let us not reason, because this Knowledge cannot be comprehended or thought of. 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 and in the height of this Love lies this Knowledge. The divinely Perfect Ones can bestow this knowledge on any one they like and whenever they like. May we all gain this Knowledge soon.

— Meher Baba

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My Dear Workers

In spite of telling you very often that I will not give you any more messages or discourses, I find myself doing just this thing which is what I do not want to do. This is because most of you do things which I do not like your doing.

I had to give you a message yesterday because you expected one; and the theme of the message was on your being my children, because despite much talk about a Baba-family, there is more a semblance than a reality of kinship among you who are the children of One Father.

True children of One Father do not greet one another with smiles and embraces and at the same time harbor grudges and ill-feeling, but they have an active concern in their hearts for the well-being of one another and make sacrifices for that well-being.

If you make me your real Father, all differences and contentions between you, and all personal problems in connection with your lives, will become dissolved in the Ocean of my love.

You are all keen on spreading my message of Love and Truth and many of you in the east and west have labored hard in this work; publishing magazines and other literature, organizing meetings, sacrificing your vacations in traveling, building halls and having statues made of me. But I wonder how much of my Love and Truth has been in your work of spreading my message of Love and Truth!

Unless there is a brotherly feeling in your hearts, all the words that you speak or print in my name are hollow; all the miles that you travel in my cause are zero; all organizations for my work are but an appearance of activity; all buildings to contain me are empty places and all statues that you make to embody me are of someone else.

I have been patient and indulgent over the way you have been doing these things, because you have been very young children in my love, and children must have some sort of games to play. But now you are older and are beginning to realize that there is a greater work ahead of you than what you have been doing. And you have been searching your minds and hearts as to what this work might be.

It is not a different work to what you have been already doing . . . it is the same work done in a different way. And that way is the way of effacement, which means the more you work for me the less important you feel in yourself. You must always remember that I alone do my work. Although only the one who has become One with God can serve and work for all, I allow you to work for me so that you have the opportunity to use your talents and capacities selflessly and so draw closer to me. You should never think that in your work for me you are benefiting others, for by being instrumental in bringing others to me you are benefiting yourself.

My work is your opportunity. But when you allow yourself to intervene between you and my work, you are allowing the work to take you away from me. When you put my work before yourself, the work will go right, although not necessarily smoothly. And when the work does not go right, it means you have put yourself between it and its accomplishment.

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. At this stage you cannot know what real Love is, but through working for me as you should work for me, you will arrive at that ripeness where, in a moment, I can give you That which you have been seeking for millions of years.

— Meher Baba

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My Dear Children

Given by Meher Baba at the East-West Gathering in November 1962

Your coming to me from different places and from across oceans has pleased me. And although no sacrifice to be near me is too great, I am touched by the sacrifice that some of you have made to come here.

Those who have not been able to come to me should not feel disheartened, for my love is with them as always, and especially so at this time. I know how they are longing to be near me even for an hour, and how helpless they are in their circumstances.

You have come from great distances, not for some convention or conference, but to enjoy my company and feel afresh my love in your hearts. It is a coming together of East and West in the house of their Father.

All religions of the world proclaim that there is but one God, the Father of all in creation.

I am that Father.

I have come to remind all people that they should live on earth as the children of the one Father until my grace awakens them to the realization that they are all one without a second, and that all divisions and conflict and hatred are but a shadow-play of their own ignorance.

Although all are my children, they ignore the simplicity and beauty of this Truth by indulging in hatreds, conflicts and wars that divide them in enmity, instead of living as one family in their Father's house. Even amongst you who love me and accept me for what I am, there is sometimes lack of understanding of one another's hearts.

Patiently have I suffered these things in silence for all my children. It is time that they become aware of the presence of their Father in their midst and of their responsibility towards Him and themselves. I shall break my Silence, and, with my Word of words, arouse my children to realize in their lives, the indivisible Existence which is God.

Throughout the years I have been giving many messages and discourses. Today I simply want to tell you who are gathered here in my Love to shut the ears of your minds and open the ears of your hearts to hear my Word when I utter it. Do not seek my blessing, which is always with you, but long for the day when my grace will descend on all who love me. Most blessed are they who do not even long for my grace, but simply seek to do my will.

— Meher Baba

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Word of My Love

Excerpt of message by Meher Baba during the 1965 Darshan in Poona, India on 3 May 1965

This time of your being with Me, I do not intend giving you a lot of words to exercise your minds. I want your minds to sleep so that your hearts may awaken to my Love.

You have had enough of words, I have had enough of words. It is not through words that I give what I have to give. In the silence of your perfect surrender, my love which is always silent can flow to you — to be yours always to keep and to share with those who seek Me.

When the Word of my Love breaks out of its silence and speaks in your hearts, telling you who I really am, you will know that that is the Real Word you have been always longing to hear.

— Meher Baba

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My Wish

The lover has to keep the wish of the Beloved. 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. Unless you start remembering me from now on, it will be difficult to remember me when your end approaches. You should start practising from now on. Even if you take my name only once every day, you will not forget to remember me in your dying moments.

— Meher Baba

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Seven Sahavas Sayings

Desire for nothing except desirelessness.
      Hope for nothing except to rise above all hopes.
      Want nothing and you will have everything.

Seek not to possess anything but to surrender everything.
      Serve others with the understanding that in them you
            are serving me.
      Be resigned completely to my will and my will will be yours.
      Let nothing shake your faith in me and all your bindings
            will be shaken off.

Real happiness lies in making others happy.
      The real desire is that which leads you to become perfect
            in order to make others perfect.
      The real aim is that which aims to make others become
            God by first attaining Godhood yourself.

Be angry with none but your weakness.
      Hate none but your lustful self.
      Be greedy to own more and more wealth of tolerance
            and justice.
        Let your temptation be to tempt me with your love in
            order to receive my grace.
      Wage war against your desires and Godhood will be
            your victory.

Love others as you would love yourself and all that is yours.
      Fortunate are they whose love is tested by misfortunes.
      Love demands that the lover sacrifice for the Beloved.

Real living is dying for God.
      Live less for yourself and more for others.
      One must die to one's own self to be able to live in all other selves.
      One who dies for God lives forever.

This period of Sahavas is the period of my suffering and helplessness.
       My glorification will follow my humiliation.

— Meher Baba

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Seven Realities

Meher Baba gives no importance to creed, dogma, caste systems, and the performance of religious ceremonies and rites, but to the UNDERSTANDING of the following seven Realities:

1. The only Real Existence is that of the One and only God, who is the Self in every (finite) self.

2. The only Real Love is the Love for this Infinity (God), which arouses an intense longing to see, know, and become one with its Truth (God).

3. The only Real Sacrifice is that in which, in pursuance of this Love, all things, body, mind, position, welfare, and even life itself, are sacrificed.

4. The only Real Renunciation is that which abandons, even in the midst of worldly duties, all selfish thoughts and desires.

5. The only Real Knowledge is the Knowledge that God is the inner dweller in good people and so-called bad, in saint and so-called sinner. This Knowledge requires you to help all equally as circumstances demand, without expectation of reward, and when compelled to take part in a dispute, to act without the slightest trace of enmity or hatred; to try to make others happy, with brotherly or sisterly feeling for each one; to harm no one in thought, word, or deed, not even those who harm you.

6. The only Real Control is the discipline of the senses to abstain from indulgence in low desires, which alone ensures absolute purity of character.

7. The only Real Surrender is that in which the poise is undisturbed by any adverse circumstance, and the individual, amidst every kind of hardship, is resigned with perfect calm to the will of God.

— Meher Baba

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Universal Prayer (Master's Prayer)

O Parvardigar — the Preserver and Protector of all!
You are without Beginning, and without End,
Non-dual, beyond comparison, and none
     can measure You.
You are without colour, without expression,
     without form, and without attributes.
You are unlimited and unfathomable,
      beyond imagination and conception,
     eternal and imperishable.
You are indivisible; and none can see You,
     but with Eyes Divine.
You always were, You always are, and
     You always will be;
You are everywhere, You are in everything;
      and You are also beyond everywhere
     and beyond everything.
You are in the firmament and in the depths;
      You are manifest and unmanifest, on
     all planes and beyond all planes.
You are in the three worlds, and also
     beyond the three worlds;
You are imperceptible and independent.
You are the Creator, the Lord of lords,
     the knower of all minds and hearts;
You are omnipotent and omnipresent.
You are Knowledge Infinite, Power Infinite,
     and Bliss Infinite.
You are the Ocean of Knowledge, all-knowing,
      infinitely knowing, the Knower of the past,
      the present, and the future, and You are
     Knowledge Itself.
You are all-merciful and eternally benevolent;
You are the Soul of souls, the One with
     infinite attributes.
You are the Trinity of Truth, knowledge, and
     Bliss,
You are the Source of Truth, the Ocean of Love;
You are the Ancient One, the Highest of the High;
      You are Prabhu and Parameshwar, You are the
      Beyond-God, and the Beyond-Beyond God also,
      You are Parabrahma, Allah, Elahi, Yezdan,
     Ahuramazda, and God the Beloved.
You are named Ezad — the only One
      worthy of worship.

— Meher Baba

 

Prayer of Repentance

Given by Meher Baba on 8 November 1952

We repent O God most merciful, for all our sins;
For every thought that was false or unjust or unclean;
For every word spoken that ought not to have been spoken;
For every deed done that ought not to have been done.
We repent for every deed and word and thought
Inspired by selfishness;
And for every deed and word and thought inspired by hatred.
We repent most specially for every lustful thought,
And every lustful action;
For every lie; for all hypocrisy;
For every promise given, but not fulfilled;
And for all slander and backbiting.
Most specially also, we repent for every action
That has brought ruin to others;
For every word and deed that has given others pain;
And for every wish that pain should befall others.
In your unbounded mercy, we ask you to forgive us, O God,
For all these sins committed by us;
And to forgive us for our constant failures
To think and speak and act according to your will.

— Meher Baba

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I am Equally Approachable. . .

Given by Meher Baba on 20 July 1952.

I am equally approachable to one and all, big and small,
To saints who rise and sinners who fall,
Through all the various paths that give the divine call.
I am approachable alike to saint whom I adore
And to sinner whom I am for,
And equally through Sufism, Vedantism, Christianity,
Or Zoroastrianism and Buddhism and other isms
Of any kind and also directly through no medium of 'isms' at all.

— Meher Baba

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The Avatar

Consciously or unconsciously, every living creature seeks one thing. In the lower forms of life and in less advanced human beings, the quest is unconscious: in advanced human beings, it is conscious. The object of the quest is called by many names — happiness, peace, freedom, truth, love, perfection, Self-realization, God-realization, union with God. Essentially, it is a search for all of these, but in a special way. Everyone has moments of happiness, glimpses of truth, fleeting experiences of union with God; what they want is to make them permanent. They want to establish an abiding reality in the midst of constant change.

This is a natural desire, based fundamentally on a memory — dim or clear as the evolution of the individual soul may be low or high — of its essential unity with God. For every living thing is a partial manifestation of God, conditioned only by its lack of knowledge of its own true nature. The whole of evolution, in fact, is an evolution from unconscious divinity to conscious divinity, in which God Himself, essentially eternal and unchangeable, assumes an infinite variety of forms, enjoys an infinite variety of experiences, and transcends an infinite variety of self-imposed limitations.

Evolution from the standpoint of the Creator is a divine sport, in which the Unconditioned tests the infinitude of His absolute knowledge, power and bliss in the midst of all conditions. But evolution from the standpoint of the creature, with its limited knowledge, limited power, limited capacity for enjoying bliss, is an epic of alternating rest and struggle, joy and sorrow, love and hate — until in the perfected person, God balances the pairs of opposites, and duality is transcended.

Then creature and Creator recognize themselves as one; changelessness is established in the midst of change; eternity is experienced in the midst of time. God knows Himself as God, unchangeable in essence, infinite in manifestation, ever experiencing the supreme bliss of Self-realization in continually fresh awareness of Himself by Himself. This Realization must and does take place only in the midst of life; for it is only in the midst of life that limitation can be experienced and transcended, and that subsequent freedom from limitation can be enjoyed. This freedom from limitation assumes three forms.

Most God-realized souls leave the body at once and forever, and remain eternally merged in the unmanifest aspect of God. They are conscious only of the bliss of Union. Creation no longer exists for them. Their constant round of births and deaths is ended. This is known as Moksha (ordinary Mukti), or Liberation.

Some God-realized souls retain the body for a time; but their consciousness is merged completely in the unmanifest aspect of God, and they are therefore not conscious either of their bodies or of creation. They experience constantly the infinite bliss, power, and knowledge of God; but they cannot consciously use them in creation or help others to attain Liberation. Nevertheless, their presence on earth is like a focal point for the concentration and radiation of the infinite power, knowledge, and bliss of God; and those who approach them, serve them, and worship them are spiritually benefited by contact with them. These souls are called Majzoobs-e-Kamil; and this particular type of Liberation is called Videh Mukti, or liberation with the body.

A few God-realized souls keep the body, yet are conscious of themselves as God in both His unmanifest and His manifest aspects. They know themselves both as the unchangeable divine Essence and as its infinitely varied manifestation. They experience themselves as God apart from creation; as God the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of the whole creation; and as God who has accepted and transcended the limitations of creation. These souls experience constantly the absolute peace, the infinite knowledge, power, and bliss of God. They enjoy to the full the divine sport of creation. They know themselves as God in everything; therefore they are able to help everything spiritually and thus help other souls realize God, either as Majzoobs-e-Kamil, Paramhansas, Jivanmuktas — or even Sadgurus, as they themselves are called.

There are fifty-six God-realized souls in the world at all times. They are always one in consciousness. They are always different in function. For the most part, they live and work apart from and unknown to the general public; but five, who act in a sense as a directing body, always work in public and attain public prominence and importance. These are known as Sadgurus, or Perfect Masters. In Avataric periods the Avatar, as the Supreme Sadguru, takes His place as the head of this body and of the spiritual hierarchy as a whole.

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

This new influx of the creative impulse manifests, through the medium of a divine personality, an incarnation of God in a special sense — the Avatar. The Avatar was the first individual soul to emerge from the evolutionary and involutionary process as a Sadguru, and He is the only Avatar who has ever manifested or will ever manifest. Through Him God first completed the journey from unconscious divinity to conscious divinity, first unconsciously became man in order consciously to become God. Through Him, periodically, God consciously becomes man for the liberation of mankind.

The Avatar appears in different forms, under different names, at different times, in different parts of the world. As His appearance always coincides with the spiritual regeneration of man, the period immediately preceding His manifestation is always one in which humanity suffers from the pangs of the approaching rebirth. Man seems more than ever enslaved by desire, more than ever driven by greed, held by fear, swept by anger. The strong dominate the weak; the rich oppress the poor; large masses of people are exploited for the benefit of the few who are in power. The individual, who finds no peace or rest, seeks to forget himself in excitement. Immorality increases, crime flourishes, religion is ridiculed. Corruption spreads throughout the social order. Class and national hatreds are aroused and fostered. Wars break out. Humanity grows desperate. There seems to be no possibility of stemming the tide of destruction.

At this moment the Avatar appears. Being the total manifestation of God in human form, He is like a gauge against which man can measure what he is and what he may become. He trues the standard of human values by interpreting them in terms of divinely human life.

He is interested in everything but not concerned about anything. The slightest mishap may command His sympathy; the greatest tragedy will not upset Him. He is beyond the alternations of pain and pleasure, desire and satisfaction, rest and struggle, life and death. To Him they are equally illusions that He has transcended, but by which others are bound, and from which He has come to free them. He uses every circumstance as a means to lead others toward Realization.

He knows that individuals do not cease to exist when they die and therefore is not concerned over death. He knows that destruction must precede construction, that out of suffering is born peace and bliss, that out of struggle comes liberation from the bonds of action. He is only concerned about concern.

In those who contact Him, He awakens a love that consumes all selfish desire in the flame of the one desire to serve Him. Those who consecrate their lives to Him gradually become identified with Him in consciousness. Little by little their humanity is absorbed into His divinity, and they become free. Those who are closest to Him are known as His Circle.

Every Sadguru has an intimate Circle of twelve disciples who, at the point of Realization, are made equal to the Sadguru himself, though they may differ from him in function and authority. In Avataric periods the Avatar has a Circle of ten concentric Circles with a total of 122 disciples, all of whom experience Realization and work for the Liberation of others. The work of the Avatar and His disciples is not only for contemporary humanity but for posterity as well. The unfoldment of life and consciousness for the whole Avataric cycle, which had been mapped out in the creative world before the Avatar took form, is endorsed and fixed in the formative and material worlds during the Avatar's life on earth.

The Avatar awakens contemporary humanity to a realization of its true spiritual nature, gives Liberation to those who are ready, and quickens the life of the spirit in His time. For posterity is left the stimulating power of His divinely human example — of the nobility of a life supremely lived, of a love unmixed with desire, of a power unused except for others, of a peace untroubled by ambition, of a knowledge undimmed by illusion. He has demonstrated the possibility of a divine life for all humanity, of a heavenly life on earth. Those who have the necessary courage and integrity can follow when they will.

Those who are spiritually awake have been aware for some time that the world is at present in the midst of a period such as always precedes Avataric manifestations. Even unawakened men and women are becoming aware of it now. From their darkness they are reaching out for light; in their sorrow they are longing for comfort; from the midst of the strife into which they have found themselves plunged, they are praying for peace and deliverance.

For the moment they must be patient. The wave of destruction must rise still higher, must spread still further. But when, from the depths of his heart, man desires something more lasting than wealth and something more real than material power, the wave will recede. Then peace will come, joy will come, light will come.

The breaking of my silence — the signal for my public manifestation — is not far off. I bring the greatest treasure it is possible for man to receive — a treasure that includes all other treasures, that will endure forever, that increases when shared with others. Be ready to receive it.

Excerpted from Discourses by Meher Baba, pp. 266-270. Copyright 1987 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust.

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God Is

God is everywhere and does everything.
God is within us and knows everything.
God is without us and sees everything.
God is beyond us and IS everything.
God alone IS.

Excerpted from God Speaks by Meher Baba, p. 298 Copyright 1973 Sufism Reoriented, Inc. Used by permission.

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GOD DESCENDS INTO THE REALM OF ILLUSION. . .

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.

The development of love is conditioned and sustained by the tension of duality. God has to suffer apparent differentiation into a multiplicity of souls in order to carry on the game of love. They are His own forms, and in relation to them He at once assumes the roles of the divine Lover and the divine Beloved. As the Beloved, He is the real and the ultimate object of their appreciation. As the divine Lover, He is their real and ultimate savior, drawing them back to Himself.

Thus, though the whole world of duality is only a illusion, that illusion has come into being for a significant purpose.

Love is the reflection of God's unity in the world of duality. It constitutes the entire significance of creation. If love were excluded from life, all the souls in the world would assume complete externality to each other; and the only possible relations and contacts in such a loveless world would be superficial and mechanical. It is because of love that the contacts and relations between individual souls become significant.

It is love that 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.

Excerpted from Discourses by Meher Baba, pp 115-116. Copyright 1987 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust.

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GOD CANNOT BE EXPLAINED

God cannot be explained, He cannot be argued about, He cannot be theorized, nor can He be discussed and understood. God can only be lived.

Nevertheless, all that is said here [in God Speaks] and explained about God to appease the intellectual convulsions of the mind of man, still lacks many more words and further explanations because the TRUTH is that the Reality must be realized and the divinity of God must be attained and lived.

To understand the infinite, eternal Reality is not the GOAL of individualized beings in the Illusion of Creation, because the Reality can never be understood; it is to be realized by conscious experience.

Therefore, the GOAL is to realize the Reality and attain the "I am God" state in human form.

Excerpted from God Speaks by Meher Baba, p. 202. Copyright 1973 Sufism Reoriented, Inc. Used by permission.

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THE QUESTION AND ITS ANSWER

There is only one question. And once you know the answer to that question there are no more to ask. That one question is the Original Question. And to that Original Question there is only one Final Answer. But between that Question and its Answer there are innumerable false answers.

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!

God is Infinite; and His shadow, too, is infinite. Reality is Infinite in its Oneness; Illusion is infinite in its manyness. The one Question arising from the Oneness of the Infinite wanders through an infinite maze of answers which are distorted echoes of Itself resounding from the hollow forms of infinite nothingness.

There is only one Original Question and one Original Answer to it. 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.

Excerpted from The Everything and The Nothing by Meher Baba, p. 78. Copyright 1989 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust.

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THE ESSENCE OF PRAYER

What constitutes the essence of prayer? Many prayers to God are current among the lovers of God, arising as they do from diverse cultural contexts. Some of the prayers invariably contain an element of asking something from God, either material or spiritual. In fact, God is so merciful and bountiful that even without their asking He always gives much more than His lovers can receive. He knows their real needs more deeply than they do. Therefore the element of asking something from God is superfluous. It often mars the inner love and worship which a prayer tries to express.

The ideal prayer to the Lord is nothing more than spontaneous praise of His being. You praise Him, not in the spirit of bargain but in the spirit of self-forgetful appreciation of what He really is. You praise Him because He is praiseworthy. 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. Eternally fresh and self-renewing in its unlimited amplitude, it never fades. Nor is it ever confined within the limits of the best of hymns.

All hymns and prayers reach out towards the eternal Truth of Godhead only to merge those who utter them in silent and unending adoration. If by ideal prayer to the Lord is meant a set formula, any search for it is a wild goose chase. 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. That which seeks to reach towards the immeasurable, itself becomes incapable of being measured by any set standards.

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. To attempt to standardize prayer is to mar its intrinsic beauty.

If you pray with a motive to do good to someone, your prayer may actually bring about good both to him and to yourself. Some people pray for the 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 the entire spiritual panorama of the universe nothing is more sublime than a spontaneous prayer. It gushes out of the human heart, filled with appreciative joy. It is self expression of the freed spirit without any actuation of a 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.

Excerpted from Beams from Meher Baba on the Spiritual Panorama by Meher Baba, pp. 74-76. Copyright 1958 Sufism Reoriented, Inc. Used by permission.

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THE INVIOLABLE UNITY OF LIFE

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, which will be my gift to mankind.

Let those who hearken to my call prepare themselves to render real service to mankind. Let them make it conscious of its oneness, irrespective of the apparent divisions of class, sect or creed. I do not attach importance to beliefs or dogmas. It is not what you believe but what you are that will ultimately count.

The Truth which I want you to share with me is not a matter of opinion or belief but of direct experience which knows no contradiction, and which will make you realize that nothing in this world is worth being greedy about, and that there need not be any hatred, jealousy or fear. Then, and only then, will man launch himself upon the safe voyage of unending creativity and unfading happiness which knows no decay or fear; he will have transcended the duality of "I"and "you", "mine" and "thine".

Excerpted from Life at Its Best by Meher Baba, pp. 60-61. Copyright 1957 Sufism Reoriented, Inc. Used by permission.

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GOD IS IN ALL

In the divine scales, vice and virtue are necessary experiences man goes through before attaining the supreme balance of Self-realization, which is beyond all opposites — good and bad.

"Good" is like a clean mirror that reflects the image of God. When true knowledge is gained you realize that the reflection is the image of your own Self, the GOD that is in all and in everything.

"Bad" is like the dusty particles that accumulate and hide the image of God, until the mirror presents only a distorted or blank surface. It cannot affect the object being reflected; it merely distorts your vision. LOVE is the cleanser that wipes the mirror bright and enables you to behold, with increasing clarity, the indivisible Entity that permeates all life.

The negative experience of the "bad", with all its consequent suffering, ultimately disgusts man and leads him to the positive force of "good", thus awakening divine love. Hence, the saints of the present are the sinners of the past. In the clarity of the understanding and knowledge they have gained, they show true humility. They do not take pride in their achievements nor condemn the "sinner" whom they know to belong equally to God, but help him to remove the self-created veil of ignorance and perceive his true identity.

Excerpted from Life at Its Best by Meher Baba, pp. 48-49. Copyright 1957 Sufism Reoriented, Inc. Used by permission.

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DISSERTATION ON LOVE

What is Love? To give and never to ask. What leads to this Love? Grace. What leads to this Grace? Grace is not cheaply bought. It is gained by being always ready to serve and reluctant to be served. There are many points which lead to this Grace:

Wishing well for others at the cost of one's self.
Never backbiting.
Tolerance supreme.
Trying not to worry.
Trying not to worry is almost impossible — so try!
Thinking more of the good points in others and less of their bad points.

What leads to this Grace? Doing all the above. If you do one of these things perfectly, the rest must follow. Then Grace descends. Have Love-and when you have Love, the union with the Beloved is certain.

When Christ said, "Love your neighbor," he did not mean fall in love with your neighbor.

When you love, you give; when you fall in love, you want. Love me in any way you like, but love me. It is all the same. Love me. I am pure, the Source of purity, so I consume all weaknesses in my fire of Love. Give your sins, weaknesses, virtues, all to me — but give. I would not mind even one falling in love with me — I can purify; but when you fall in love with anybody else, you cannot call it love. Love is pure as God. It gives and never asks; that needs Grace.

Yogis in the Himalayas, with their long eyelashes and long beards, meditating, sitting in Samadhi, they too, have not this Love . . . it is so precious. The mother dies for her child — supreme sacrifice, yet it is not Love. Heroes die for their country, but that is not Love.

Love! You know when you have Love. You cannot understand theoretically, you have to experience it.

Mainu loved Leila. This was pure Love, not physical, not intellectual, but spiritual Love. He saw Leila in everything and everywhere. He never thought of eating, drinking, sleeping, without thinking of her, and all the time he wanted her happiness. He would have gladly seen her married to another if he knew that would make her happy, and die for her husband if he thought she would be happy in that. At last it led him to me — no thought of self, but of the beloved, every second and continually.

You would not be able to do that if you tried. It needs Grace.

Trying leads to Grace.
What is God?
Love.
Infinite Love is God.

Excerpted from The Path of Love by Meher Baba, pp. 98-100. Copyright 2000 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

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YOU ALONE EXIST

Though this ghazal was originally attributed to Bhau Kalchuri, it actually arose as a collaboration with Meher Baba. The full story is related following the ghazal.

     [Meher Baba]
     Oh priceless treasure of Knowledge!
      You are within and without,
       and You are the Ocean of Mercy.

     You are in all the worlds;
      You are the Ocean of attributes!
        Oh Meher, God-Incarnate, You alone exist!
         You are Yezdan. You are Ezad.

     You are Allah and Ishwar.
      You are Ram and You are Buddha.
        You are Beloved Lord Krishna
         Who with one finger lifted the mountain;
          You alone exist!

     You are the Beyond God
      and the Beyond-Beyond God also.
        Oh Ocean of Kindness, You alone exist.

     You are Mohammed,
      You are Perfection Personified.
        You are knowledge itself,
         and you alone exist.

     You are with attributes
       and without attributes!
        You are the sole player
         in the divine game. You alone exist.

     [Bhau]
     You are matchless, the Only One!
       You reside in every heart,
        and you alone exist.

     You are eternally motionless,
       and immovable is your abode.
        You are the Highest, for You alone exist.

     You are the Doer,
       the deed, and the cause of doing!
       The sustainer You are,
        and the Master of Masters.
         You alone exist.

     You are the seeker, the worship
       and the Sadhana.
        Oh Meher, God-Incarnate, You alone exist!

     You are beyond Beyond,
       yet You remain within everyone.
        You are All-Pervading, and You alone exist.

     You are in each neighborhood.
       You are the Sustainer.
        You Yourself are all worlds,
         and You alone exist.

     Everywhere, whether above or below,
       You are complete;
        and You alone exist.

     You are unseen, yet seen also.
       You live in everyone
        forgiving each his sins.
         You alone exist.

     There is no one without you!
       You are manifest and unmanifest
        as You alone exist.

     [Meher Baba]
     You are man. You are birds.
       You are fish and animals,
        for You alone exist.

     You are bugs and gnats,
       You are snakes and scorpions,
        You are ants and mosquitoes,
         for You alone exist.

     You are insects. You are lice.
       You are dogs, asses and pigs.
        You alone exist.

     You are the moon and the stars,
       the dawn and the night,
        and the sun and also the light.
         You alone exist.

     You are tea and coffee,
       and the sugar also;
        You alone exist.

     You are pen and ink
       and you are the gifted writer.
        You alone exist.

     You are the door and the window.
       You are the marble floor;
        You alone exist.

     You are the medicine and the disease
       and the doctor also;
        You alone exist.

     [Bhau]
     You are the game and the player,
       and the spectator also;
        You alone exist.

     You are the flower and the thorn,
       and You are the fragrance.
        You alone exist.

     You are the singer.
       You are the musical instrument.
        You are the sweet tunes,
         for You alone exist.

     [Meher Baba]
     You are the soldier, the army,
       and the Supreme General.
        You alone exist.

     You are the sailor and the ship,
       and the wide Ocean;
        You alone exist!

     [Bhau]
     You are the storm's turbulence
       and the tranquil waters.
        You are the Pearl
         and You are the shell.
          You alone exist.

     You are the shore, the ferryman,
       and the sea also,
        for You alone exist.

     You are the beggar, the giver,
       and the charity;
        You alone exist.

     You are the slave and the Lord;
       You are the Beyond God.
        You are God. You alone exist.

     [Meher Baba]
     You are Mother and Father;
       You are Master, brother and friend.
        You are family and relatives;
         You alone exist.

     There is no one besides You!
       Eternally You are,
        for You alone exist!

     You are Pran and You are heart.
       You are also the Beloved of the heart;
        You alone exist.

     You are the Beloved and the lover,
       and You are the nectar of Love
        as You alone exist!

     [Bhau]
     You are breath and life itself.
       Our minds are enthralled
        by Your beauty!
         For You alone exist!

     You are the worshipper,
       his worship,
        and the One worshipped,
         as you alone exist.

     You are Consciousness
       and the Way to Consciousness!
        Oh Meher, God-incarnate. You alone exist!

     [Meher Baba]
     You are Khwaja, You are Qutub!
       You are Pir and Qalander!
        You alone exist.

     You are Hafiz, You are Sanai!
       You are Dara and Alexander!
        You alone exist.

     You are Jesus Christ! You are Elahi!
       You are the Ocean,
        infinite and pure;
         You alone exist.

     You are the Koran
       and the One who prays!
        You are Vali,
         and You are the Messenger,
          You alone exist.

     You are the Beginning,
       and You are the End.
        You are also beyond the Beginning
         and beyond the End. You alone exist.

     You are infinitely beautiful
       and infinitely close!
        Oh Meher, God-incarnate, You alone exist!

     You are Brahma and You are Vishnu;
       You are the guileless Shankar.
        You alone exist!

     Bhau says, "O Beloved Meher,
       You are the Word
        and You are The Letter!
         You alone exist!"

I Am There In Everything

During nightwatch one evening in 1959 Meher Baba dictated the following couplet to me [Bhau Kalchuri, disciple]:

      Oh Priceless Treasure of Knowledge!
       You are within and without,
        and You are the Ocean of Mercy.

      You are in all the worlds;
       You are the Ocean of attributes!
        Oh Meher, God-Incarnate, You alone exist!

Baba then asked me to compose a ghazal around this couplet whenever I had the time. He instructed me to use a particular meter in Hindi which He tapped out with His fingers. But I did not know how to write such a ghazal, so I simply kept the couplet in my notebook and waited until inspired.

Three years passed by. In 1962 Baba instructed me to translate the book, The Everything and the Nothing, into Hindi, and Baba wanted me to include a prayer with the translation. It was then that I remembered the lines from that couplet Baba had given me. Baba seemed pleased that I had finally remembered the couplet. He gestured, "Since I alone exist, you write on the theme 'You Alone Exist.'"

At last I found some inspiration and composed eleven couplets to go with the first one. The next day during nightwatch Baba gestured to me, "Did you compose any prayer yesterday?"

I said, "Yes Baba, eleven couplets more."

Baba then gestured, "Read them, read them all to Me," and so I did.

Baba was in an exceptionally good mood that day, and after I had finished reading the entire twelve couplets He said, "Take your pen and write what I now give you as more couplets." So there He began composing several new couplets, one after another. Baba sat on His bed and drummed on His thigh with His fist in rhythm to the lines He Himself was composing for over an hour.

Later in 1962 during the hot summer months at Guruprasad Baba ordered me to finish the translation work and to expand The Everything and the Nothing with a complete commentary and several songs. I would do this writing work upstairs in my room in the morning and afternoon while Baba and the other mandali were downstairs in the large hall with visitors. Much later I found out that every day Baba would instruct His nephew Sheroo to sing this prayer entitled, "You Alone Exist." Baba never let on to anyone that He Himself had composed this prayer....

Excerpted from The Nothing and the Everything, Bhau Kalchuri, pp. xii-xix Copyright 1981 Manifestation, Inc.

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FORGIVE AND FORGET

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. But they, instead of forgetting that for which they asked forgiveness, forget that God has forgiven them, and, instead, remember the things they were forgiven — and so nourish the seed of wrong-doing, and it bears its fruit again. Again and again they plead for forgiveness, and again and again the Master says, I forgive.

But it is impossible for men to forget their wrong-doings and the wrongs done to them by others. And since they cannot forget, they find it hard to forgive. But forgiveness is the best charity. (It is easy to give the poor money and goods when one has plenty, but to forgive is hard; but it is the best thing if one can do it.)

Instead of men trying to forgive one another they fight. Once they fought with their hands and with clubs. Then with spears and bows and arrow. Then with guns and cannon. Then they invented bombs and carriers for them. Now they have developed missiles that can destroy millions of other men thousands of miles away, and they are prepared to use them. The weapons used change, but the aggressive pattern of man remains the same.

Now men are planning to go to the moon. And the first to get there will plant his nation's flag on it, and that nation will say, It is mine. But another nation will dispute the claim and they will fight here on this earth for possession of that moon. And whoever goes there, what will he find? Nothing but himself. And if people go on to Venus they will still find nothing but themselves. Whether men soar to outer space or dive to the bottom of the deepest ocean they will find themselves as they are, unchanged, because they will not have forgotten themselves nor remembered to exercise the charity of forgiveness.

Supremacy over others will never cause a man to find a change in himself; the greater his conquests the stronger is his confirmation of what his mind tells him — that there is no God other than his own power. And he remains separated from God, the Absolute Power.

But when the same mind tells him that there is something which may be called God, and, further, when it prompts him to search for God that he may see Him face to face, he begins to forget himself and to forgive others for whatever he has suffered from them.

And 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.

Excerpted from The Everything and The Nothing by Meher Baba, pp. 109-110. Copyright 1989 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust.

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SOJOURN OF THE SOUL

Love becomes consciously infinite in being as well as in expression when the individual mind is transcended. Such love is rightly called divine, because it is characteristic of the God state in which all duality is finally overcome. In divine love, lust has completely disappeared. It does not exist even in latent form. Divine love is unlimited in essence and expression because it is experienced by the soul through the Soul itself.

In the gross, subtle, and mental spheres, the lover is conscious of being separated from God, the Beloved; but when all these spheres are transcended, the lover is conscious of his unity with the Beloved. The lover loses himself in the being of the Beloved and knows that he is one with the Beloved. Divine love is entirely free from the thralldom of desires or the limited self. In this state of Infinity the lover has no being apart from the beloved: he is the Beloved Himself.

One thus has God, as infinite Love, first limiting Himself in the forms of creation and then recovering his infinity through the different stages of creation. All the stages of God's experience of being a finite lover ultimately culminate in His experiencing Himself as the sole Beloved.

The sojourn of the soul is a thrilling divine romance in which the lover — who in the beginning is conscious of nothing but emptiness, frustration, superficiality, and the gnawing chains of bondage — gradually attains an increasingly fuller and freer expression of love. And ultimately the lover disappears and merges in the divine Beloved to realize the unity of the lover and the Beloved in the supreme and eternal fact of God as infinite Love.

Excerpted from Discourses by Meher Baba, pp. 402-403. Copyright 1987 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust.

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THE UNERRING VOICE OF LOVE

There can be no greater folly than that the aspirant quarrel with another over the pros and cons of this way or that, instead of concentrating on his own onward march. One road may be steep, another full of potholes, a third torn by racing rivers. Similarly, one many may walk best, another may be a good runner, a third a fine swimmer. In each case the things that should really count are the destination and the progress that each individual makes. Why should one who runs like a hare come in the way of another who is more likely to succeed at the pace of a snail?

Spiritual progress is like climbing through hills, dales, thorny woods and along dangerous precipices to attain the mountain top. 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. All hesitation, sidetracking or resting in halfway houses, or arguing about the best route, only postpones the day of final fulfilment.

The aspirant cannot be too alert about the path. The slightest lingering in the false world of shadows is inevitably an invitation to suffering that could have been avoided if the eye had been steadily fixed on the supreme goal of life.

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. There is nothing beyond God and there is nothing without God, and yet God canalways be captured by love. 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.

To lose hold of the mantle of this guide is to find only despair. The heart without love is entombed in unending darkness and suffering, but the heart that is restless with love is on its way to realization of the unfading light that shines on the unfathomable sweetness of life divine.

Excerpted from from Listen, Humanity by Meher Baba, ed. D. E. Stevens, pp. 186. Copyright 1982 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

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WHAT YOU ALREADY ARE!

God is Love. And Love must love. And to love there must be a Beloved. But 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.

Beloved and Lover implies separation. And separation creates longing; and longing causes search. And the wider and the more intense the search the greater the separation and the more terrible the longing.

When longing is most intense separation is complete, and the purpose of separation, which was that Love might experience itself as Lover and Beloved, is fulfilled; and union follows. And 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.

To attain union is so impossibly difficult because it is impossible to become what you already are! Union is nothing other than knowledge of oneself as the Only One.

Excerpted from The Everything and The Nothing by Meher Baba, p. 1. Copyright 1989 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust.

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LOVE AND GOD-LOVE

Of all the forces that can best overcome all difficulties, the greatest is the force of love, because 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.

Where there is love, there is Oneness and, in complete Oneness, the Infinite is realized completely at all times and in every sphere of life, be it science, art, religion, or beauty. The spirit of true love and sacrifice is beyond all ledgers and needs no measures. A constant wish to love and be loving and a non-calculating will to sacrifice in every walk of life, high and low, big and small, between home and office, streets and cities, countries and continents are the best anti- selfish measures that man can take in order to be really self-ful and joyful.

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.

Love for God, love for fellow-beings, love for service and love of sacrifices; in short, love in any shape and form is the finest "give and take" in the world. Ultimately, it is love that will bring about the much-desired universal leveling of human beings all over the world, without necessarily disturbing the inherent diversities of details about mankind.

All the same, in order to burst out in a mighty big spirit to serve as a beacon for those who may yet be groping in the darkness of selfishness, love needs to be kindled and rekindled in the abysmal darkness of selfish thoughts, selfish words and selfish deeds.

The light of love is not free from its fire of sacrifice. Like heat and light, love and sacrifice go hand in hand. The true spirit of sacrifice that springs spontaneously does not and cannot reserve itself for particular objects and special occasions. Love and coercion can never go together. Love has to spring spontaneously from within. It is in no way amenable to any form of inner or outer force and it cannot be forced upon anybody, yet it can be awakened in one through love itself.

Love cannot be born of mere determination; through exercise of will, one can at best be dutiful. One may, through struggle and effort, succeed in securing that his external action is in conformity with his conception of what is right; but such action is spiritually barren because it lacks the inward beauty of spontaneous love.

Like every great virtue, love, the mainspring of all life, can also be misapplied. It may lead to the height of God-intoxication or to the depths of despair. No better example can be given of the two polarities of love and their effects than that of Mary Magdalene before and after meeting Jesus.

Between these two extremes are many kinds of love. On the one hand, love does exist in all the phases of human life; but here it is latent or is limited and poisoned by personal ambitions, racial pride, narrow loyalties and rivalries and by attachment to sex, nationality, sect, caste, or religion. On the other hand, pure and real love has also its stages, the highest being the gift of God to love Him. When one truly loves God, one longs for union with Him, and this supreme longing is based on the desire of giving up one's whole being to the beloved.

True love is very different from an evanescent outburst of indulgent emotionalism or the enervating stupor of a slumbering heart. It can never come to those whose heart is darkened by selfish cravings or weakened by constant reliance upon the lures and stimulations of the passing objects of sense.

Even when one truly loves humanity, one longs to give one's all for its happiness. When one truly loves one's country, there is the longing to sacrifice one's very life without seeking reward and without the least thought of having loved and served. When one truly loves one's friends, there is the longing to help them without making them feel under the least obligation. When truly loving one's enemies, one longs to make them friends. True love for one's parents or family makes one long to give them every comfort at the cost of one's own. Thought of self is always absent in the different longings connected with the various stages of pure, real love; a single thought of self would be an adulteration.

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. Human love in its personal and impersonal aspects is limited; but Divine Love, with its fusion of the personal and the impersonal aspects, is Infinite in being and expression. Divine Love makes us be true to ourselves and to others and makes us live truly and honestly. Thus, it is the solution to all our difficulties and problems; it frees us from every kind of binding; purifies our hearts and glorifies our being.

To those whose hearts are pure and simple, true love comes as a gift through the activating grace of a Perfect Master, and this Divine Love will perform the supreme miracle of bringing God into the hearts of men. All the same, human love should not be despised, even when it is fraught with limitations. It is bound to break through all these limitations and initiate an aspirant in the eternal life in the Truth.

God does not listen to the language of the tongue which constitutes Japs (mental repetitions), Mantras (verbal repetitions), Zikra (either kind of repetition), and devotional songs. He does not listen to the language of the mind which constitutes meditation, concentration and thoughts about God. He listens only to the language of the heart, which constitutes love. The most practical way for the common man to express this language of the heart, whilst attending to daily-life duties, is to speak lovingly, think lovingly, and act lovingly towards all mankind, irrespective of caste, creed and position, taking God to be present in each and every one.

To realize God, we must love Him, losing ourselves in His Infinite Self. We can love God by surrendering to the Perfect Master who is God's personal Manifestation. We can also love God by loving our fellow-beings, by giving them happiness at the cost of our own happiness, by rendering them service at sacrifice of our interests and by dedicating our lives at the altar of selfless work. When we love God intensely through any of these channels, we finally know Him to be our own Self.

The beginning of real love is obedience, and the highest aspect of this love which surpasses that of love itself is the aspect which culminates into the perfect obedience or supreme resignation to the Will and Wish of the Beloved. In this love are embodied all Yogas known to saints and seekers.

Excerpted from from The Path of Love by Meher Baba, pp. 67-71. Copyright 1986 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

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GOD DREAMS DIVINELY

Just as a man, who wakes up from his sound sleep state, has invariably to pass through the state of dreaming first and then wake up completely, gaining full consciousness after the semi- conscious state of the dream (which may last for a very long duration or may last only for a split second), so, too, is it the case with God in the God-Is state. Before completely waking up from His original divine sound sleep state, God necessarily experiences the divine semi-conscious state which is the divine dream state or the creator state.

The original, infinite whim, as the Cause, manifested the first trickle of most-finite consciousness in God. This most- finite consciousness made God, now in a semi-conscious state, experience through sub-consciousness the most-finite impression of the latent Nothing which was also manifested as the Nothingness. This experience of the most-finite first impression of Nothingness began the "divine dream" — the creation of the universe.

Thus the first trickle of consciousness in the God-Is state infused God with the divine sub-consciousness which in turn bestowed the divine semi-conscious state upon God Who was in the divine sound sleep state. In this divine semi-conscious state, God dreams divinely and experiences the divine dream, or the Creation, much before the real, divine awakening state, which state, awakening Him completely, would give Him the experience of God fully conscious of His infinite, unbounded and unlimited divine nature.

This divine sub-consciousness of God also emerged from the Nothing which was latent in the God-Is state of the Everything, and necessarily was projected through the creation point, or Om point, in the original absolute vacuum of the Everything.

The very vibrations of the projection of the divine sub-consciousness of God, through the creation point in the original absolute vacuum, bestirred the divine sound sleep state of God and made manifest the original breath of God, or the original Word — the divine nad — together with space, time and the cosmic universe, with all of its paraphernalia of the limited and finite ego, mind, energy and the individual and multiple forms.

Excerpted from God Speaks by Meher Baba, pp. 102-104. Copyright 1973 Sufism Reoriented, Inc. Used by permission.

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REAL BIRTH AND REAL DEATH

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. What is meant by the birth of a "drop" in the Ocean of Reality? It is the advent of individuality, born of indivisibility through a glimmer of the first most-finite consciousness, which transfixed cognizance of limitation into the Unlimited.

What is meant by the real death?

It is consciousness getting free of all limitations. Freedom from all limitations is real death: it is really the death of all limitations: it is liberation. In between the real birth and the real death, there is no such reality as the so-called births and deaths.

What really happens in the intermediate stage known as births and deaths is that the limitations of consciousness gradually wear off till it (consciousness) is free of all limitations. Ultimately, consciousness, totally free of all limitations, experiences the unlimited Reality eternally. Real dying is equal to real living. Therefore I stress: Die for God and you will live as God.

Excerpted from from The Path of Love by Meher Baba, pp. 76-77.

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THE ANTIDOTE FOR WORRY

Duality signifies separateness. Separateness implies fear. Fear causes worry.

The way of Oneness is the way to happiness. The way of manyness leads to worries. I am the only One without a 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. I alone am real and my marjee (will) governs the cosmic Illusion.

It is the truth when I say that the waves do not roll or the leaves do not move without my will. The moment the intensity of your faith in my will reaches the apex, you bid adieu to worry for good. Then, all that you suffered and enjoyed in the past, together with all that you may experience in the future, will be to you the most loving and spontaneous expression of my will; and, as the lover places the will of the Beloved above all else, there is nothing which can cause worry.

Live more and more in the present which is ever beautiful and which really stretches far beyond the limits of the past and the future. If at all you want to worry, let your only worry be: how to remember me constantly. This is worth worrying about, because it is the antidote for worry.

Think of me more and more, and all your worries will dwindle into nothing, for they are really nothing, and my will works out to awaken this in you and in all.

Excerpted from from The Path of Love by Meher Baba, p. 118