Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What Meher Baba 'Really' Told Paul Brunton

Paul Brunton
In 1930 the British journalist Paul Brunton visited Meher Baba's ashrams in Meherabad and Nasik. The British journalist interviewed Meher Baba in the Panchvati Cave. He reported Meher Baba's words in his book In Search of Secret India (1934), but left out some of the material he collected. Glow International was the first to publish this omitted material, and the following excerpt is taken from that publication.
"When a Master dies he takes no further interest in the affairs of the gross world—not even a Christ. Hence those who imagine that a 'dead' Master is responding to their prayers or watching them, are wrong. . . . Nevertheless when a sincere devotee prays and intensely concentrates on a dead Prophet, like Christ, and calls on him for any help, a living master then in the world will feel that this cry is being made, and if the sincerity and aspiration of the devotee warrant it, he will manifest himself to the devotee, taking on the appearance of Christ, etc., and answer the prayer."
—”What Meher Baba ‘Really’ Told Paul Brunton: Extracts from Talks in the Orient by Paul Brunton,” Glow International, Summer 2012, p. 8.


Back story on interview.

Continuing the work of fasting and seclusion, later that year Baba asked His mandali to dig a cave on the east side of Meherabad Hill. He named it Panchvati Cave and went into seclusion there on November 15th, 1930. However, during that time Baba allowed the western journalist, Paul Brunton, to interview Him here. (History of Meherabad, AMBPPCT)
Baba in Panchvati Cave where he was
interviewed by Paul Brunton in 1930

34 comments:

  1. This acceptance of the role of a living lesser master in answering prayer would have to be considered superseded by Meher Baba's order in the mid-sixties not to associate with living masters. I find it fascinating that Meher Baba would have at one point included living masters as useful to an aspirant.

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    1. Living Masters are the only ones which are useful to an aspirant. Baba was warning about the false ones.

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  2. My guess is that Paul Brunton misquoted Baba.

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    1. But not necessarily, since there are plenty of contradictions within Baba's own 'oeuvre.'

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  3. I don't believe useful conclusions can be drawn one way or the other from one quote, and hearsay at that. The idea of living one's life based on quotes (selected "as needed" from whatever one finds) to me is not the way to follow the path (I don't mean the Path as in the subtle and mental planes, but more generally one's spiritual life, guided by intuition). Something like this quote is more likely to confuse people than help them.

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  4. But I did not mean to suggest the quote should be suppressed. It can be added in to all the rest of what i hope would be thorough reading of books by and about Baba (as opposed to reading quote collections). But in the end, Meher Baba--God--is unfathomable, and we will end up figuring out that we can't figure it out.

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  5. IMHO, if the question is about results, then the process is immaterial. If the question is about the mechanics, we ignorant can debate it forever. Shvia the Anonymous

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  6. Jay Mohler, I don't think Brunton misquoted Baba here. Baba has made this clear to others as well. Talat Halman, a "living master" is one of the five Perfect Masters who happens to be in the body and such a one is God, no "lesser master". Baba has warned about following other gurus and false masters and was imperative that when you have Him you need no other, not even another one of the Five. But Baba never discouraged the followers of Upasni following Upasni. For myself I need no other Master than Baba and I find Him in his books and in the love of his followers and hopefully also in my heart. So when I pray, even if I say "Baba", I know it is to God I am praying. But I do not expect for any answers from God. Baba has given me all the answers than I could ever ask for. I imagine that if one prays for God and it is his/her time, a living Perfect Master will be there to answer.

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  7. Kendra, you are right, Baba is unfathomable. But for the part he gave us, his books, his words, they are all very meaningful even if we do not grasp them fully.

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  8. I beleive that Baba's statement from "What Meher Baba 'Really' Told Paul Brunton" about dead Masters responding to prayers etc. includes Baba himself, but only after the the "Avataric period" ends.

    In the Meher Baba literature we read that Baba said there is a special period of 100 years’ duration after the manifestation of the Avatar on earth, during which the force of his presence is felt just as it was when he was in the body.

    "Meher Baba revealed to us time and again that at the end of each avataric advent, his avataric impact, influence or force, and the fragrance of his presence, continue to remain active for 100 to 200 years, exactly as though he were physically present. If the next advent is to take place after 700 years, then his avataric impact, influence or force, and his divine presence of the advent, continue to be felt for 100 years and a little more. Similarly, if the advent occurs after 1400 years, his impact and divine presence pervade for 200 years and a little more.

    (A letter from Eruch Jessawala circulated at his request to the various Meher Baba centers around the world)

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  9. God is love.
    Love is not bound by time, space or material.
    Love is delicate and powerful.
    God is not limited to any particular paradigm or method.
    God complies with the methods expected by each of His lovers.
    There are many examples of Meher Baba adhering to the limitations of His lovers.
    Meher Baba responded as a current personification or manifested agent for lovers of prior avatars.
    Meher Baba adjusted His response according to each individual.
    For me, the spirit of Meher Baba is not bound by time. Therefore, I believe He was capable of traversing time and space when He was living. He occasionally appeared passive; Perhaps he was consciously present in another space OR TIME ie ANYWHERE.
    However, I do believe it may be potentially dangerous or unhealthy to spiritual development of one or another to insert one's opinion as a single, absolute interpretation of His words or authority. Why not leave such questions with their kaleidoscope of answers and leave the ultimate interpretation to the individual reader? Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!

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  10. I recall hearing almost exactly this from Eruch one day. Why not try it out and see for yourself? Anunda the anonymous.

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  11. I believe this is quite an accurate translation of what Baba conveyed to Paul Brunton and is in fact the way things are. Here is one of many things Meher Baba communicated in the course of his life that would back up the statement given to Paul Brunton. I am not giving a word for word of what Baba told the Mandali, but as I recall, it was something to the effect that Saint Francis of Assisi, attained God Realization, but a Perfect Master (somehow linked to Sai Baba), manifested a physical form in front of Saint Francis to extend the physical touch required to convey the spiritual push necessary to give Saint Francis God Realization. Based on that story told by Meher Baba himself, it begs the question, if the in-person Jesus Christ wasn't available to give realization to Saint Francis, then where does that leave the rest of us? Basically it leaves us awaiting the next incarnation of the Avatar. As Adi K. Irani used to quip, "better luck next birth"!

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    1. I believe I read somewhere [citation needed] that Baba said it was Khidr or al-Khidr (Arabic: الخضر‎ al-Khiḍr, also transcribed as Khidr, Khizr, Khyzer, Qhizyer, Qhezar, Khizar, Xızır, Hızır), "the Green One," who gave St. Francis the stigmata, not Christ Himself. . But I never been able to find out whether Khidr was an angel (unincarnated soul) or a post, like Indra (an ascended (?) soul). If anyone knows... Shiva the Anonymous

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  12. Even if Meher Baba is beyond and not active in the present according to the quotes of Meher Baba by Paul Brunton, His Universal Work may have been regarding work in the future (ie past 1969). His Universal or other work in seclusion may reach far into the future. Thus, rendering the quote an interpretation of His process. The quote would essentially have nothing to do with the result experience of His followers. Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!

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  13. NOT TOO WORRY! Not active or "not interested in gross world affairs" doesn't necessary mean disinterest in subtle or mental domains. And that's where the Avatar primarily works, indirectly affecting gross affairs. [cf. Baba's work with masts re WW2.] Yes, Baba had indicated in other conversations that Perfect Masters, after death--are definitely not interested in illusion whatsoever. Although the Ancient One remains fully concerned with the dream of God in body or not, as the best of managers, He has created a system whereby lesser agents in the spiritual hierarchy can respond to sincere individual souls. An elegant Beloved !

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  14. It seems to me, that we would need a real master to explain what Baba meant on His level, and who among us could really understand the answer? To some of us, it would be like reading the Bible...Perhaps that time it was meant only for Paul to do with what he would. Only He knows. Jai Baba.

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  15. Like when Baba was Mohammad He programmed everything He was to do as Meher Baba! Now when Baba was in His Body He programmed everything that was to happen after He dropped His Body. We are now living that dream that Baba worked out for us until the next Advent.---Romney Meyran

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  16. My Father's Guru - a book about a family who followed PB, a sobering read indeed. i actually wore a badge i made from a Baba photo taken fr that book. Baba with a beard! It caused quite a stir in 1997 with some folk pointing at it and stating "that's not Baba!" i showed it to Eruch and he held the badge and stared at it for a few moments and he declared and nodded - yes, that's probably Him.

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  17. Sorry, i meant the book In Search of Secret India NOT MFG!

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  18. Re the apparent contradictions in "what Baba may have said" or what He said in the '20s, say, and later: let them not take anyone from the Main Point: "God alone is Real. Love for God is all that matters." When Francis loved Jesus, when Mira loved Krishna, it is hard to believe, impossible for me to believe, that "Jesus" and "Krishna" did not respond. Love can penetrate all barriers. Francis or Mira would not have let anything stop their LOVE! Let us do our best at least to emulate! Furthermore, to my mind, the very concept of "the spiritual hierarchy", "Masters" etc, invokes duality, when Baba tells us there is only ONE.

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  19. Also, Baba tells us the Avatar functions without limit!
    How then can we believe Him when He suppoedly tells someone of the Avatar's limits?

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  20. I am reminded of Wallace Stevens' wonderful poem, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird." On the one hand, it seems to me that The New Life was in some ways all about us learning to live from within our own (Baba-informed) resources, without expecting Him to bail us out in any way. On the other hand, if the Avatar is beyond space and time -- and let's hope He is -- then there's no reason my prayer now could not be heard by him in, say, 1957, when He could do something about it if He chose to. And finally, considering Baba as quoted above by Paul Brunton: why in heaven or earth should we care whether it is Baba or a living Perfect Master who appears to us (or talks to us; or hears us when we talk to Him; or answers our prayers). God is God. When Baba leaves the PMs in charge, He leaves them in charge.

    (Three Ways of Looking at the Avatar and Our Relationship to Him)

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  21. I would like to thank everyone who posted to my blog post on Brunton's quote. You made for a lively and thought-provoking post. Thank you for giving your time and considered opinions. People have expressed to me pleasure in reading such well thought opinions. It really made the post worthwhile, and gave me some joy too. So thank you.

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  22. Where did 'Glow' magazine find this omitted material.....78 years after the book was published?

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  23. from eruch - When man learns to love the Avatar and continues to stay in the orbit of the love of the Avatar, it is redundant for him to go in search of a spiritual guide or a Perfect Master! The Avatar is for him the eternal Perfect Master, even after the Avatar drops his man-form. So it is absurd for any lover of Avatar Meher Baba to be in search of a Perfect Master, as long as he continues to remain in the orbit of the Avatar's love.'

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  24. It states in God Speaks that when the Perfect Masters and Avatar leave their body they go to the 8th state of God which is not connected to the illusion. This is the same as what Baba said to PB.
    Baba goes on to say that the Perfect Masters and the Avatar are absolutely identical in their consciousness which is infinite consciousness, but differ in their function. This again coincides with the PB quote, as a Perfect Master is acting in place of the Avatar, who is not aware of the illusion, therefore not aware of the lovers cries to Him. Infinite consciousness naturally means the inclusion of all consciousness, which naturally includes your consciousness, which means that God is right there with you as your consciousness, which is all you are. I take this all to mean that Meher Baba is now in the 8th state of God, unaware of Himself in the illusion, leaving the affairs of the world to the living Masters. And as stated in the PB quote, if we, His lovers, cry out to Him, it is the living Masters responding. But that is not disappointing as their is no difference between the Avatar and Masters except in function. Now then, as it was pointed out, Eruch repeated often that Baba said after he dropped his body, for "100 years and a little bit more, it would feel 'as if' He were physically present. What exactly does that 'as if ' mean? To me, it is like the analogy of the light bulb glowing for a moment of two after the switch has been shut off, an after-glow. This is my present limited understanding of this.

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  25. It states in God Speaks that when the Perfect Masters and Avatar leave their body they go to the 8th state of God which is not connected to the illusion.

    This is the same as what Baba said to PB.
    Baba goes on to say that the Perfect Masters and the Avatar are absolutely identical in their consciousness which is infinite consciousness, but differ in their function. This again coincides with the PB quote, as a Perfect Master is acting in place of the Avatar, who is not aware of the illusion, therefore not aware of the lovers cries to Him.

    Infinite consciousness naturally means the inclusion of all consciousness, which naturally includes your consciousness, which means that God is right there with you as your consciousness, which is all you are. I take this all to mean that Meher Baba is now in the 8th state of God, unaware of Himself ( selves) in the illusion, leaving the affairs of the world to the living Masters. And as stated in the PB quote, if we, His lovers, cry out to Him, it is the living Masters responding. But that is not disappointing as their is no difference between the Avatar and Masters except in function.

    Now then, as it was pointed out in the comments, Eruch repeated often that Baba said after he dropped his body, for "100 years and a little bit more, it would

    feel 'as if' He were physically present." What exactly does that 'as if' mean? Did Eruch answer that? To me, it is like the analogy of the light bulb glowing for a moment of two after the switch has been shut off, an after-glow.

    But as Upasni Maharaj asks...who can fathom the Leela of God?

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    1. After I wrote the above, I went to the store to buy some milk for tea.and this whole topic was playing in my head. As I entered the store,the song that was playing in the store was "Let my love open the Door.", a Peter Townsend song that was inspired by Baba. As I noticed the song playing the lines came to me, "Love can cure your problems. you're so lucky I'm around."
      I took the timing of this as coming directly from Baba Himself ( or was it a Perfect Master? Was it the 8th state of God or the tenth state that was playing DJ that day?) And I received two messages from it. 1) Baba IS around, and 2) Love is both the Reality and the way to Him, as many people wrote of above.

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    2. Yes, I agree. Baba is Everywhere, is in Everything, and everything in Him, and is Eternal. Yet the quote by Brunton is not so different from others by Baba. For example:

      "A Sadguru can do good to others only so long as he lives in this gross world; after leaving his body he cannot make anybody cross a single plane, and cannot wipe out anybody's sanskaras; though to those of his followers who call upon his infinite existence, his infinite state renders help according to the devotion behind the call." (The God-Man, p. 37)

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  26. If I've understood Meher Baba well, if you want to remain with Him, and sip the nectar of His love, you have to become a complete idiot. An idiot wouldn't worry if God is in the 8th sphere or the 2nd, he would just cry to God. There's a story that Rumi told. He said there was a man who would sit every night on his roof and cry, "Allah! Allah!". One night, as he was crying, a man came by and said, "Why doesn't your Allah respond, since you've been crying to Him for so long. Why doesn't He come to you and sooth you?" So the man who was doing the remembrance got dejected. That night, he slept and an angel came to him in a dream and said, "Why did you stop? He is not happy that you stopped crying to him. Your cry, your cry itself was His response to you!".

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