Friday, October 4, 2013

Meher Baba's presence as explained by his mandali

Eruch Jessawala
A letter from Eruch Jessawala circulated at his request to the various Meher Baba centers around the world. Meherazad, 25th November 1980.

"Through the past decade since beloved Avatar Meher Baba dropped his physical form on 31st January 1969, I have heard reports and received many letters from lovers of Avatar Meher Baba concerning the mushrooming of some self-appointed preceptors, guides, yogis, saints and sadgurus, who now act as 'masters' to the followers of Avatar Meher Baba.

"In addition, there is an increasing confusion in the minds of Baba-lovers over the indispensable need for an aspirant to have a living Perfect Master as revealed by beloved Baba in the Discourses, as against beloved Baba's timeless warnings not to approach gurus.

"Lest silence from the Mandali of Avatar Meher Baba be misconstrued by Baba-lovers as approval for seeking gurus, I find it imperative to speak now, being prompted from deep down within me to do so.

"Having spoken, it is left for each heart to heed the warning, or act as you would wish, but know well that 'Whosoever has not the eye for the Sultan cannot go to the Sultan.'

"Our love for the God-man is the response to the greater love which he has for us. Through lifetimes of striving, longing and seeking comes the rare opportunity for a few to accept the advent of the God-man, while millions upon millions are yet unaware that the expected one has come again as Avatar Meher Baba. What untold fortune is our inheritance that beloved Meher Baba has drawn us to him - closer and yet closer into the orbit of his love.

"This circular letter is being issued in response to the written and verbal enquiries of people who wish to love Meher Baba, and who are confused at Avatar Meher Baba's statements concerning the need for a 'living Perfect Master,' as contrasted with his repeated injunctions against chasing after gurus. The statements that follow are from what I have gathered from beloved Baba in my years with him, and are intended for all.

"For those firm in their love for Avatar Meher Baba, and whose only wish is to hold fast to his daaman, the conflict regarding the need for a living Perfect Master does not exist. There is no conflict, because for them Meher Baba was, is, and remains the eternal Perfect Master, eternally alive in their hearts. These people do not seek spiritual guidance, and are not interested in spiritual progress, because they have firm faith and trust in beloved Meher Baba's continuing guidance, and they rely on him alone. Their only wish is to be completely resigned to his will, and to efface themselves in love for him.

"Beloved Avatar Meher Baba is veritably God in human form, as revealed to us by him. When he dropped his body on 31st January 1969, and passed away physically from our midst, the Avatar did not 'die' - he simply dropped his man-form, to continue to remain as God - the eternal presence in our midst.

"The Avatar, God manifest in human form, makes the inconceivable and unapproachable reality conceivable and approachable. God makes his being, his love, his compassion, his charity, etc., more tangible to mankind when he is physically among us as the Avatar of the age.

"When we say that beloved Avatar Meher Baba dropped his body, we thereby mean that he withdrew his man-form, and left in the hearts of his lovers the longing for his reality, by which one may see him as he really is. God is not 'dead' - rather he is no longer visible in that man-form so dear to us all. He has not ceased being immanent and active. As Avatar Meher Baba withheld his voice so that we might hear his silence, he now withholds sight of him so that we may seek him within ourselves, and by his grace find him as the only beloved.

"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.

"The five Perfect Masters of the time precipitate the advent of the Avatar in our midst, and relinquish their charge to him during each Avataric period, and then remain 'backstage' as the Avatar shoulders their duties. They remain inactive during the avataric advent while he is in man-form, and for as long as the avataric impact or force continues to pervade. The divine influence of the Avatar after he drops his physical body is in no way diminished or different from when he was physically among us.

"Blessed is mankind during each advent, as each advent is the springtide of creation, when the God-man is present among us. And doubly blessed is man when he becomes aware of the Avatar's presence, and remains under the influence of the Avatar's love for him. 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.

"When you read in the Discourses by Avatar Meher Baba that it is essential for a spiritual aspirant to have the grace of the Perfect Master to realise God, remember that beloved Baba has revealed this as a general guideline for posterity when the avataric impact begins to fade out, and for those who will not have been fortunate enough to have come into the orbit of the love of the Avatar. Time and again he has revealed to us that he is the way and the goal. Whosoever loves and obeys the Avatar, and whosover is blessed by his grace, what need has he for any spiritual path? The spiritual path then follows such an aspirant, instead of the aspirant following the path! A true lover of Avatar Meher Baba has no concern with advancement on the spiritual path; he is continually concerned with effacement of himself in the love of the Lord. A lover's goal is to become like dust at the feet of the beloved Lord!

"In spite of Avatar Meher Baba's 'Last Warning' of July 1968, it is surprising to get news from different countries, especially from India and the USA, that quite a number of people who follow Avatar Meher Baba, and some of them who ae very close in their love for him, have fallen a prey to some self-appointed saints and sadgurus who operate as immaculate persons, full of modesty, professing to have been installed overnight by some spiritual hierarchy to act as 'masters' to followers of Avatar Meher Baba.

"The astute modus operandi of such masters is the very cause for many innocent hearts and susceptible minds to believe that their love for and obedience to such saints and masters will help them to love Avatar Meher Baba all the more, and will get them closer to him, now that Avatar Meher Baba is no more physically in their midst.

"Some of these teachers and preceptors are also vitiating the minds and hearts of the innocent, saying that Meher Baba is not their master, but their master's master! It sounds so ridiculous, and at once so apt. Such is the divine leela!

"These masters diligently promote the image of one another among themselves, and establish a mutual admiration society or clan. They savor homage, obeisance and admiration of their followers. They begin to imitate Meher Baba's ways and mode of dress, even imitate his silence and hand and finger movements. Such people are indeed perfect mimics, rather than spiritual masters and saints. Beloved Baba would draw our attention to such mimics and call them his spiritual clowns!

"They sham an aura of sanctity, allow people to prostrate before them, bless Baba pictures and lockets, bless the people, and lead their followers to believe that they are stationed on higher planes of consciousness or are Realised 'Perfect Masters,' and that obedience to them is imperative. Some of these Gurus are going to the extent of telling their followers that as Meher Baba's tomb is now 'inactive,' and as a number of the Mandali are dead or gone senile, there is no use going to Meherabad and Meherazad. Where beloved Baba's photos adorned the walls, now pictures of these gurus are seen! 'Sahavas' is now also held by these masters, imitating beloved Meher Baba, but taking great care to see that their atmosphere is maintained, and not superseded by Meher Baba atmosphere.

"Sufism Reoriented, now re-reoriented (in the West), and Vedantism reoriented (in the East), are beginning to raise their heads in direct defiance to beloved Baba's timeless warnings. Such spiritual jingoism leads me to recall what beloved Meher Baba had said to one such master who came to him:
'Of what avail if you were to gain the whole world and lose me...?'
"Such masters have gone to the extent of ordering their groups to shun the 'Last Warning' given by beloved Avatar Meher Baba in July 1968. The printed leaflets have been destroyed by the orders of some of these masters. In the 'Last Warning' beloved Baba has warned all who love and follow him, and would want to do so, as follows:

'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...'

"I have been witness to these words of beloved Baba warning all who wish to be helped in loving him with one-pointed devotion, and wanting to get closer to him, to realise him as their own self.

"Again and again, for our own highest benefit, beloved Meher Baba cautioned his lovers against running after yogis, gurus and saints, or visiting their ashrams or shrines, as there is no longer any need for these pursuits. Avatar Meher Baba was and is the living God. It is he who is the fountainhead of grace, and he is eternally the way and the goal at one and the same time for his lovers.

"Share this letter with all, and let all lovers of Meher Baba know once and for all that it is beloved Meher Baba who remains responsible for their spiritual welfare as long as they continue to love and obey him, and that they should hold fast to his daaman, as he exhorted us to, till the very end. There are no intermediaries required on the path to love him, for he says again and again that he is the supreme Sadguru and the divine beloved. We have his lasting assurance on this when he says:
'I am already yours when you become mine.'
Yours brotherly,


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

Mani Irani
Additionally, these are words by Mani Irani, in a letter to Bili Eaton that Baba asked her to write in reply to a query.
"The 100 years after the Manifestation of the Avatar is the period encompassing the direct living and personal radiation of the Avatar."

(Bili Eaton, A Love So Amazing, p. 82)

Bhau Kalchuri
Additionally, these are words by Bhau Kalchuri from The Nothing and the Everything, 1983.
"The Avatar never loses connection after he drops the body, but maintains his connection with all creation through the five Sadgurus living."

(Bhau Kalchuri, Nothing and the Everything, p. 113)

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