Thursday, June 28, 2012

Majzoob and Salik

I was speaking with someone quite familiar with Meher Baba's teaching and I was surprised they did not know what a "Majzoob" was. There's no shame in not knowing something like this, as it is not in Baba's Discourses and not a general point of ordinary conversation. The primary sources for Baba's teachings concerning this subject are his principle book God Speaks and The Wayfarers by William Donkin.

Here I will give a very brief overview of these terms from my memory of what Baba has said on it, rather than simply quoting long passages. The above sources where this is discussed in depth are freely available, including to download at the Avatar Meher Baba Trust Online Library.

A mast from Calcutta named Karim Baba,
Calcutta, 1940
Baba is the only author that I am aware of that discusses something rather complicated called a "mast." Masts are pilgrims on the spiritual path who, though having a body in the physical world, inwardly experience the sights, sounds and intoxication of the inner planes of involution and become utterly absorbed in these experiences. They are spiritually advanced souls, but often seem mad to ordinary people, for they are in varying degrees aloof of their outward worldly physical surroundings, experiencing nearly continuously as they do the intoxication of the planes, and their behavior can likewise be quite peculiar to say the least. They generally live in mud and dust in the sub-continent of India and in Pakistan and Iran.

Now not all masts are in this state of absorption to the same degree. Some are utterly absorbed, while others have quite a bit more experience of the outward world. Baba describes this range of the degrees of divine spiritual absorption that masts experience in terms of being majzoob-like or salik-like. Majzoob means "absorbed," thus a majzoob-like mast is more absorbed in the experiences and intoxication of the plane he is in, and thus generally utterly aloof from the world, and a salik-like mast is more in contact with his or her physical surroundings, and thus more normal in behavior as well.

However, Baba says a mast who is salik-like is not a Salik in the truest sense of the word, and a mast who is majzoob-like is not a Majzoob in the truest sense. In the truest sense a Salik (with capital "S") applies to a Perfect Master, who though being God-realized in a body also experiences Reality as it truly is. He sees Illusion as illusion and Reality as the only Reality. This one is the most-perfect in every sense, and Baba says that residing in the Salik is "the very life of God." He is God living life as both man and God, conscious of both simultaneously.

Now there is another type of God-realized living incarnate human being that is called a true Majzoob or Majzoob-e-Kamil, and is a kind of mast. This real Majzoob is entirely absorbed in experience of God (7th plane of consciousness) and not the illusion, world, etc. Though a Majzoob is in a body, he has no experience of it or the world through it. He experiences Self (God) only. He is utterly blind and deaf to the Illusion, Universe, etc. -- which Baba says really is nothing but an illusion. Thus the Majzoob experiences only Reality (God/Self) and not world. Thus the Majzoob, unlike a Salik, cannot help others directly, though Baba says that he does help others indirectly when people render service to him, bring food, water, care for his bodily needs, etc. or simply by their being in his physical presence.

When either a God-realized Salik or God-realized Majzoob (Majzoob-e-Kamil) drops his body, both merge into the same state — that of Majzoobiyat or the State IIB described in God Speaks. The difference in the experience at the time of death between a perfect Salik and perfect Majzoob is only that the perfect Salik loses consciousness of the Illusion, while for the Majzoob there is no subjective difference at all as he is already in that state when alive. Thus for the Majzoob his inner experience is utterly unaffected when he drops his body.

Baba says that when a person is God-realized he is at first Majzoob. Many remain in this state, sometimes for a short while, sometimes for three or four days, some longer before dropping their body. But if it is the rare destiny of that one to take up the duty of Perfect Master then by the aid of his own master, he is brought back into contact with the Illusion once again, while at the same time retaining his Reality consciousness, in order to allow him to emancipate others (help others still bound in Illusion to realize God). There is generally a transition then in these rare souls with this rare destiny that they go through a period where they are either Salik-Majzoob or Majzoob-Salik, and the various conditions during this journey back down into illusion.

I include some photographs of human beings Baba said were in these two main states of God-realization, and some photos below them of Baba passing through the intermediate stages of Majzoob-Salik and Salik-Majzoob where his experience alternates as he transitions to be a full Salik and Avatar of the age.

The first photo is of a true perfect Majzoob (or Majzoob-e-Kamil).

A 7th plane majzoob mast, Chacha of Satara in the back of a tonga after
his one and only bath for about thirty years. February 1939.
This mast (above) is named Chacha from Satara, India and is a true Majzoob-e-Kamil, a true Mazoob of the 7th plane, Majzoob here meaning "absorbed" in the truest sense of the word as merged with God. Brought from Satara Baba had him washed and dressed in clean white clothes for the first time in many years when this photograph was taken of him in a tonga in 1939. He asked Baba to sit with him and they took a short ride together in this tonga around the time of the photo.
Upasni Maharaj with his closest disciple
Godavari Ma, about 1940
Next (above) is a photograph of a true Salik, Upasni Maharaj, the word "Salik" here used in the true sense of the term according to Baba. His continual experience of both Reality and the Illusion is what Baba calls the state of sulukiyat (Salik-hood). The Salik is also referred to as a Perfect Master, a Sadguru, a Qutub, or simply as a God-realized human being. He lives the life of God with both consciousness of the 7th highest plane of God-consciousness, plus has simultaneous experience of the Illusion, Universe, Creation, worlds (both subtle and gross), bodies (both subtle and gross), etc. Unlike an ordinary person, however, the experience that the Salik takes of the world is not for his own self-emancipation, since he is already perfect, nor his own pleasure, but is solely to aid others who are still caught in the illusion to move onward toward their own emancipation. This is something a Majzoob cannot directly do, due to his having no experience of the gross, subtle, or mental world and no use of his infinite Power, Knowledge and Bliss that the Salik does use for the benefit of others.

This is enough explanation to know, then, what a "Majzoob" is. It is a God-realized person on earth who enjoys absorption with experience of God, but does not experience the illusion, troubles, affairs of the world, etc. or even his own body.

Now it is interesting to note that when a person is God-realized that soul must pass through a journey from the experience first of majzoobiyat (Majzoob) and then on to that of full sulukiyat (Salik-hood) before he can take up the "office" of Perfect Master, to carry out the duty of a savior. One who is in this state between majzoobiyat and sulukiyat is said to be in the Divine Junction. One thus can see this journey from Majzoob to Majzoob-Salik and Salik-Majzoob to become a full Salik (Perfect Master with consciousness of both Reality and Illusion at once for the sake of emancipation of others) in Baba's own transition.

I have thus included some pictures, that in my own estimation, show Baba in these stages, though we may have none of him in his total original Majzoob state that his contact with Hazrat Babajan put him in in early 1914, when he was 19 years old.

Baba in 1913, shortly before
his contact with Hazrat Babajan.
The first image (above) is Baba (still known as Merwan) as a normal college lad just prior to his experience with Hazrat Babajan in early 1914 when she revealed to him his state of God-hood. Thus Baba as an ordinary man.

Next we see him as a Majzoob, or at least nearly a Majzoob, i.e. a Majzoob-Salik or Salik-Majzoob mast, as he now (with the help of his masters) begins the process of integrating his God-hood experience with experience of the ordinary world in order to help others.

Meher Baba not long after his God-realization
during his long and difficult transition from Majzoob to Salik.
Through the care of his master Upasni Maharaj, with whom Baba staid off and on for seven years, Baba begins to appear more normalized, becoming a true Salik prior to Upasni announcing to him his true destiny.

Now eventually, over a period of seven years in the care of Upasni, Baba apparently began to see the light at the end of the tunnel of this transition from Majzoob through Majzoob-Salik to Salik, and I think the picture below shows this. I think it shows the first glimmers of a dawning comfort as his descent nears its completion, like one who is just beginning to touch the earth after a very long flight, at last beginning to feel his outward experience integrated with his Divine inner one, for the aid and benefit of others, by the help of Upasni. We see the long harsh years with Upasni Maharaj have wreaked havoc on his wardrobe.

Meher Baba, 1921, a year before he completed his full
seven year training with Upasni Maharaj.
During about this time, while still with Upasni and likely looking much as he does in the photo above, Baba wrote in a Ghazal, as if he were preparing himself for his coming mission that he was still not fully ready to take on:
The destiny of mankind
was foreseen on the day of creation.
Alter the design, if you have the courage.
First cleanse yourself,
purify your heart, then counsel others,
O Huma, but first you must change
the form of your speech. 

And now at last, after finally receiving from Upasni his sacred mission, hearing from Upasni's own mouth that he, Meher Baba, was the Avatar, and after receiving his first disciples from Upasni (as Jesus did from John), Baba set out for Bombay with his men to establish his first ashram and to begin their training. We see in this picture below, taken of Baba in that first ashram, Manzil-e-Meem, after departing with Upasni's blessings, a man who has become at last who he was born to be, a man utterly relaxed in his own skin, with full gross and God consciousness integrated. But he does look a bit exhausted from the ordeal.

Meher Baba in Manzil-e-Meem (House of the Master),
his first ashram, Bombay, 1922

Meher Baba with Gustadji in Manzil-e-Meem, 1922. 

Again, above we see Baba at last at ease. I was told this was Meher Baba's favorite photograph of himself. The disciple is named Gustadji, whom Baba called his twin.

And thus we at last have the master so many have grown to love and enjoy.

Meher Baba, Meherabad?, 1941

I hope now everyone knows what a Majzoob is.

Post note: 7.14.13

Since writing this post over a year ago, I have learned more about the dates of the photographs I used to demonstrate Baba's progress through majzoobiyat. See this link for some clarification. For instance the photo that I name as being Baba before his realization is more likely taken in 1917, several years after his realization.

This was determined by an observant blog follower. See comments at bottom of this page.

While my attempt to illustrate the path using images of the stages of Baba's life may have been a bit naive (relying on appearance of photos) I still think that these images serve to illustrate the concept well. In fact I think this was the point of the photos taken in January 1922, to demonstrate these very stages. 

1 comment:

  1. Here is one quote from Donkin (I do not have his diaries, but it was posted within else):

    Baba explained to Ghani the other day the difference between a Qalander, a Salik, and a Majzoob. A majzoob is drowned in the ocean of God; a salik is up to his neck in the ocean of God; i.e. his intellect and senses are in the outer world; whereas a Qalander sits upon the surface of the ocean of God; and this third state of the Qalander is the most perfect state, since the Qalander has full control of the outer situation, and of himself, and so can help humanity better; Avatars are qalanders.

    DONKIN'S DIARIES, pp. 242